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Sannō Shrine

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Sannō Shrine

The one-legged torii at the Sannō Shrine

The Sannō Shrine (山王神社 Sannō Jinja, lit. Mountain king shrine), located about 800 metres south-east of the atomic bomb hypocentre in Nagasaki, is noted for its one-legged stone torii at the shrine entrance.


The one-legged torii of Sannō Shrine is outlined in red.

The well-known one-legged torii or one-legged arch (一本柱鳥居) was one of the unanticipated results of the atomic bomb blast on August 9, 1945.

The epicenter of the bomb's destructive force was located approximately 800 meters from the shrine (in the right background of the image the transformed torii on this page).

One support column was knocked down; but the other somehow remained standing, even though it was rotated about 30 degrees on its pedestal base. The central part of the shrine is located just behind where the photographer would have stood in order to capture the recent photograph which shows the current state of the still-standing column.[1]


The one-legged torii and rubble after the atomic blast, 1945
The devastated Sannō camphor trees, 1945

The surviving trees of Sannō Shrine have become another living demonstration of destruction and re-growth. Two large camphor trees were scorched, burned and stripped of all leaves by the bomb's shock wave; and yet, despite everything, the trees survived. One tree in Nagasaki was designated a natural monument on February 15, 1969.[2]

The dead parts of the living trees have been enveloped by new growth.[1]

Camphor Tree Sannō Shinto Shrine Nagasaki, 2014

The Shrine

View of entrance to the Shrine in 2014
View of the Shrine interior in 2014


  1. ^ a b City of Nagasaki: Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum; Sannō Shrine.
  2. ^ Brazil, Mark. "A camphor by any other name," The Japan Times. August 1, 2002.

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