What’s With The Tiny Door?


Wow, people were totally troll-size back in the days before homogenized vitamin D milk! Check out the tiny gate in this old wall!

No, wait. Then why is there an eensy-weensy gate next to the car entrance at this temple in Daimon? It was built after the war, when hamburgers and milk had already invaded Japan and made all the kids’ uniform pants too short. Is this a temple dedicated to short people?


Actually, none of the above. These gates have been built less than person-height on purpose, so everyone has to bow as they enter. Whether you’re the emperor or the guy who’s arrived to take out the garbage, you have to humble yourself before entering the sacred ground beyond.

Many garden huts built for tea ceremony have the same small doors, emphasizing that you have to leave your worldly status behind when performing tea ceremony.

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more