Sannō Shrine

The Sannō Shrine (山王神社, Sannō Jinja, literally 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.

Sannō Shrine (山王神社)
Nagasaki One Legged Torii C1946.jpg
The one-legged torii at the Sannō Shrine
Sannō Shrine is located in Japan
Sannō Shrine
Shown within Japan
Geographic coordinates32°46′03″N 129°52′07″E / 32.76750°N 129.86861°E / 32.76750; 129.86861Coordinates: 32°46′03″N 129°52′07″E / 32.76750°N 129.86861°E / 32.76750; 129.86861
Shinto torii icon vermillion.svg Glossary of Shinto


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 on the left).

One support column was knocked down; but the other somehow remained standing, keeping the gate upright. The force of the shockwave rotated the torii about 30 degrees on its pedestal base. The central part of the shrine is located just behind where the photographer of the image on the right.[1]


Camphor Tree Sannō Shinto Shrine Nagasaki, 2014
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]


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


  1. ^ a b City of Nagasaki Archived 2009-08-15 at the Wayback Machine: Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum Archived 2012-01-27 at WebCite; Sannō Shrine Archived 2011-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Brazil, Mark. "A camphor by any other name," The Japan Times. August 1, 2002.