Rev. Anthony J. Eiardi, S.J.
A torii is a traditional Japanese gate commonly found at the entry to a Shinto shrine. It has two upright supports and two crossbars on the top, and is frequently painted vermilion (an opaque orangeish red color). Traditionally, torii are made of wood or stone. Torii mark the transition from the sacred (the shrine) to the profane (the normal world). The torii depicted here is one of two gates constructed by landscape architect Arthur A. Shurtleff in 1926 for the family of Walter B. Lashar.
In 1956, Rev. Anthony J. Eiardi, S.J. a math professor here at Fairfield University, was seeking to restore the Japanese Garden at Bellarmine hall. He sent letters to the original designer Arthur Shurcliff (formerly Shurtleff), asking for his comments and advice. In his letter from December 24th, 1956, Shurcliff writes: ‚ÄúRegarding the torii, I think the second one you refer to stood near the fence in which the torii served as a gateway. The dimensions of both torii were the same and consequently if you copy the present one that will be exactly right. They should be painted red, - a dull red without gloss. When you put up the new one it would be wise if you can secure chestnut wood to use, rather than other wood, because it decays very slowly. If, however, you cannot find that kind of wood, give whatever you do find a heavy coat of creosote." Image date is approximate.
Photographic print; black-and-white; 8 x 10 in.
Fairfield University Archives and Special Collections
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Rev. Anthony J. Eiardi, S.J.. "Torii or traditional wooden Japanese gate in the vicinity of the Japanese Garden." 1956. Image Archive. Fairfield University Archives and Special Collections. https://digitalcommons.fairfield.edu/image-archive/131.