Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine © Japan Photo Encyclopedia 2005

Date of Inscription: 1996
Criteria: C (i) (ii) (iv) (vi)



Brief Description


The island of Itsukushima, in the Seto inland sea, has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. The first shrine buildings here were probably erected in the 6th century. The present shrine dates from the 13th century and the harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill. The shrine plays on the contrasts in colour and form between mountains and sea and illustrates the Japanese concept of scenic beauty, which combines nature and human creativity.


Itsukushima Shinto Shrine©UNESCO 2003

Justification for Inscription


The Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property on the basis of cultural criteria (i), (ii), (iv) and (vi) as the supreme example of this form of religious centre, setting traditional architecture of great artistic and technical merit against a dramatic natural background and thereby creating a work of art of incomparable physical beauty.


(Text © UNESCO)



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