Torii on Bentenjima (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka)
In 2019, German photographer Ronny Behnert travelled around Japan visiting various Torii, the traditional Japanese gate commonly found at the entrance of Shinto shrines and used to symbolically demarcate the transition between our world and the sacred world of the gods. And I know what you’re thinking — do we really need another photo gallery of Torii taken by a foreigner? We asked ourselves the same question and the answer, in this case, was yes.
Torii at Einootsurugi Shrine (Uto City, Kumamoto)
Behnert uses a process of combining neutral density filters (which block out light) with long-exposure times: sometimes up to 5 minutes. The resulting photographs allow the Torii and their co-inhabitants to occupy a dominant presence within the frame while other, unnecessary elements become whited out, creating a minimal landscape that’s reminiscent of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascapes.
Torii at Hakuto Shrine (Tottori City, Tottori)
Torii at Matsue Shrine (Oita City, Oita)
Torii at Meoto Iwa (Futami, Mie)
Torii at Minato Shrine
Torii at Natakaigan (Kitsuki, Oita)
Torii at Shirahige Shrine (Takashima, Shiga)