What's new

Japanese shrine internal layouts

Waku

Kouhai
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Hi, im writing a novel and have been searching for any references to what it looks like inside of all the shrine complex buildings. I cant seem to find any pictures or floor plans of the inside. Only the outside layouts. Im hoping someone here knows of any sites or has any pictures or can maybe even draw the layouts if anyone happens to know. Thanks
 

Waku

Kouhai
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the reply! these help alot. I forgot to mention though I was trying to find something more like floor plans I guess? If anyone can help with that, it would be great. thanks

Oh, also, is it possible.. lets say a family owns the shrine, is it possible that they can build a regular house within the complex? or should it be somewhere outside of the complex?
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
1,568
Do a google image search on 神社 図面

What constitutes a Shinto shrine can vary immensely. They're not all necessarily in a "complex".

Have you ever been to a Shinto shrine before? Are you clear on the difference between Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines?
 

Waku

Kouhai
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
I havent. I would love to visit japan and such but I have a condition that prevents me from traveling. my knowledge of Japanese language is still pretty small as well so its tough to find things. The only experiences ive had around any shrines are from anime or games and I dont want to fall into the typical. I want to make sure its based more on reality.

Im not too clear on the differences but ive been researching a bit more of Shinto, not so much Buddhist, but I probably should. If youre up for it it would be nice of you to share info or even just links. anything would be a help. thanks!
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
1,568
Are you familiar with this famous carving?

image-jpeg.24456
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
1,568
It is a carving of an elephant, intended to be realistic, by someone who had only heard and read other people's descriptions of elephants but who had never seen one himself.

If you have no familiarity with the language, no experience of the people or the culture, and no knowledge of whether what you have been looking at in cartoons and video games were Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples or the difference between them, then the lack of a floor plan is so far down the list of obstacles to writing a "realistic" story that it is hardly worth worrying about. Make one up.

I don't have in myself the knowledge or experience that would enable me to write a novel that attempts to be a realistic depiction of any aspect of the lives of Japanese people, much less one whose realism is going to hinge on my accurate knowledge of a shrine or temple's floor plan. If I tried it myself the result would be cartoonish, so I am afraid there isn't really any knowledge I could give you that would improve things. If during the course of your research you come up with specific questions I'm sure we would all be glad to do our best trying to help you with answers, but there is nothing I could sit here and write that you could then simply read and end up with anything resembling realistic.

I've lost count of how many authors we've had come through here in the last dozen years wanting help writing their Japan novel (and they all got the help they asked for, by the way). But I remember precisely how many of them have ever come back and let us know where we could go to buy or read their finished project: zero. When you finish your novel, please let us know where we can read it.
 

Waku

Kouhai
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Lol wow.. I guess I was expecting some kind of insult. I have done plenty of research and I know its harder to accomplish when you dont go to places in person that youre writing about. I also dont expect to be perfectly realistic. I just want to get as close to it as possible.

Like I said, Ive done plenty of research and continue to research other aspects of Japanese culture for my novel and ive done so completely on my own. this shrine portion is such a small aspect of the novel, but ive been having trouble visualizing the surroundings in the scene, and had been unsuccessful in finding something that I thought would be simple enough to find, maybe because of my limitations of the language.

For the time being the only question I have is basically whats under the roof of these buildings:
typical-shrine-layout2-jpg.24458

Basically ive been trying to find a reference picture like this, just with the roofs taken off. with the simple details of the inside like a floor plan. My added question was that if its possible to actually live within the vicinity or in any of the buildings. I suppose the office area could be converted to a home. maybe i answered my own question there.

As for anything else I wanted to know, or throw links at me of random info, that isnt necessary. this is the sole question I want answered for the sake of visualization. If thats too difficult to find, ill accept that and try to imagine through more research. Thanks for the help thus far
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
1,568
I guess I was expecting some kind of insult
You didn't get one. If it were my intent to insult you I would have done it in one line.

Basically ive been trying to find a reference picture like this, just with the roofs taken off. with the simple details of the inside like a floor plan.
What is it you imagine going on inside the buildings and who do you imagine entering them? They aren't generally open and people don't generally enter them.

My added question was that if its possible to actually live within the vicinity or in any of the buildings.
That depends on the individual shrine. Shrines vary widely. Only a relative few have staff on site at all; most are unattended unless some festival or special event is going on and don't have anything resembling an office at all.

A shrine can range from something like this:

image-jpeg.24459


up to a complex comprising many buildings.

Since most people use "shrine" indiscriminately to refer to both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples and since they are not the same thing and do not have the same functions, layouts, or activities it is important that you decide if the requirements of your storyline would be better served by having the action at a shrine or a temple and that you have some idea of what actually goes on at each.
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
May 12, 2013
Messages
1,333
Reaction score
178
Lol wow.. I guess I was expecting some kind of insult. I have done plenty of research and I know its harder to accomplish when you dont go to places in person that youre writing about. I also dont expect to be perfectly realistic. I just want to get as close to it as possible.

Like I said, Ive done plenty of research and continue to research other aspects of Japanese culture for my novel and ive done so completely on my own. this shrine portion is such a small aspect of the novel, but ive been having trouble visualizing the surroundings in the scene, and had been unsuccessful in finding something that I thought would be simple enough to find, maybe because of my limitations of the language.

For the time being the only question I have is basically whats under the roof of these buildings:
View attachment 24458
Basically ive been trying to find a reference picture like this, just with the roofs taken off. with the simple details of the inside like a floor plan. My added question was that if its possible to actually live within the vicinity or in any of the buildings. I suppose the office area could be converted to a home. maybe i answered my own question there.

As for anything else I wanted to know, or throw links at me of random info, that isnt necessary. this is the sole question I want answered for the sake of visualization. If thats too difficult to find, ill accept that and try to imagine through more research. Thanks for the help thus far
@Hiroyuki Nagashima gave you a Wikipedia link with everything you need. Do image searches for each of the buildings.
 

Waku

Kouhai
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the input guys. I think you helped me realize im getting just a little bit ahead of myself. I will do more extensive research on these things and within the links provided. I will definitely come back when I have more questions.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
8,642
Reaction score
245
Site that can be useful for your research at the end. (^^)
神紋(Shinmon or Jinmon)
http://www.jinja.sa-ka-ki.jp/shinmon/shinmon.html
"In addition, shrines and temples each have their own Mon, which are called Shrine Mon and Jimon that are especially, distinguished from Kamon."
朱印 (Shuin)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuin

神仏習合(Shinbutsu-shugo)
"When the divinities of Shinto and the deities of Buddhism are combined, it is called a syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinbutsu-shūgō

神使(Shinshi)
"Shinshi (Divine servant) is, in Shinto, an animal specified as a messenger (servant) of god."
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/神使

氏神(Ujigami)
Ujigami is a Shinto god (Shinto) jointly enshrined by the people living in a community (village) in Japan.
鎮守神(Chinjusha)
Chinju is a god who has settled in a land to protect it and its people.
産土神(Ubusunagami) Tutelary Deity of One's Birthplace.
"It is often considered to be the same as ujigami (a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion) or ubusunagami (guardian deity of one's birthplace)."

氏子(Ujiko)
"The people who enshrine a tutelary god are called 'ujikoju' or 'ujikodo,' whose representative called ujikosodai plays a central role in assisting the rituals and festivals at the shrine."
 

Waku

Kouhai
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Thanks!

What is it you imagine going on inside the buildings and who do you imagine entering them? They aren't generally open and people don't generally enter them.
Sorry, didnt mean to ignore you. without revealing any plot points all I can say is a character lives at the shrine full time for a 'reason' lol.. So I wanted to know what it all looked like inside and out as a 'house' if it were possible to do so and also what parts were possible to live in and what weren't.

I suppose I didnt explain it well before. horrible thing for a writer. sorry lol
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
1,568
At a temple would be far, far more plausible.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
93
I've seen shrines in residential areas, with houses right next to them. Couldn't your character live in one such house?

Maybe we need a sub forum for author questions. lol
 
Top