Architectural Details

For those interested in the architectural details, here is a description of the shrine taken from the nomination form to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Architectural details are italicized.

DSCF2690The Inari Shrine is a rectangular, 19′ x 26′, frame building which is painted red, the traditional color for this Shinto sect’s shrines. A shake shingled Irimoya (hipped and gabled) roof with overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, and an ornamental ridgepole with chigi (V-shaped projections) dominates the structure.The shrine sits on wood posts which are enclosed by vertical plank siding to present the appearance of a raised foundation. A central set of wood steps with a simple balustrade provides access to the shrine. The roof extends outward to cover the steps, and an ornamented lobster tie beam braces the posts which support the roof extension. A balustraded, 3.5 ft wide lanai (porch) wraps around the front and two sides of the 19′ x 15′ sanctuary. Sliding doors, each with one bottom panel and a lattice-like top, enclosed the sanctuary, which contains an elevated, central altar. Unfortunately the sliding doors have been stolen, but restoration plans include their replacement. The sanctuary floor is covered with rice mats, and the ceiling and upper walls are made of 1″ x 6″ tongue and groove. The building is unaltered and has no additions. However, due to an imminent demolition and new construction project, the shrine has been moved. It will sit in the Waipahu Cultural Garden, on a site which has no significant historical value. Located in this botanical garden owned by the City of Honolulu, its traditional appearance will be maintained, including the front garden space with its stone statuary and the torii gateway.

You can look up some of the words on Google if you’re not sure what they are, or go to this glossary of architectural terms:

For the Japanese terms, this may help:

Irimoya roof: This is an East Asian hip-and-gable roof. See

Chigi: X-shaped finials found in Japanese and Shinto architecture. See

Related to chigi are katsuogi: Short decorative logs found in Japanese and Shinto architecture. See

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: