Shinmei torii The shinmei torii (神明鳥居), which gives the name to the family, is constituted solely by a lintel (kasagi) and two pillars (hashira) united by a tie beam (nuki). In its simplest form, all four elements are rounded and the pillars have no inclination. When the nuki is rectangular in section, it is called Yasukuni torii, from Tokyo's Yasukuni Jinja. It is believed to be the oldest torii style.
Ise torii Ise torii (伊勢鳥居) are gates found only at the Inner Shrine and Outer Shrine at Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture. For this reason, they are also called Jinguu torii, from Jinguu, Ise Grand Shrine's official Japanese name.
There are two variants. The most common is extremely similar to a shinmei torii, its pillars however have a slight inward inclination and its nuki is kept in place by wedges (kusabi). The kasagi is pentagonal in section. The ends of the kasagi are slightly thicker, giving the impression of an upward slant. All these torii were built after the 14th century.
The second type is similar to the first, but has also a secondary, rectangular lintel (shimaki) under the pentagonal kasagi.
This and the shinmei torii style started becoming more popular during the early 20th century at the time of State Shinto because they were considered the oldest and most prestigious.
Kasuga torii The Kasuga torii (春日鳥居) is a myoujin torii with straight top lintels. The style takes its name from Kasuga-taisha's ichi-no-torii (一の鳥居), or main torii.
The pillars have an inclination and are slightly tapered. The nuki protrudes and is held in place by kusabi driven in on both sides.
This torii was the first to be painted vermilion and to adopt a shimaki at Kasuga Taisha, the shrine from which it takes its name.
Hachiman torii Almost identical to a kasuga torii, but with the two upper lintels at with a slant, the Hachiman torii (八幡鳥居) first appeared during the Heian period. The name comes from the fact that this type of torii is often used at Hachiman shrines.
Kashima torii The kashima torii (鹿島鳥居) is a shinmei torii without korobi, with kusabi and a protruding nuki. It takes its name from Kashima Shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Kuroki torii The kuroki torii (黒木鳥居) is a shinmei torii built with unbarked wood. Because this type of torii requires replacement at three years intervals, it is becoming rare. The most notorious example is Nonomiya Shrine in Kyoto. The shrine now however uses a torii made of synthetic material which simulates the look of wood.
Shiromaruta torii The shiromaruta torii (白丸太鳥居) or shiroki torii (白木鳥居) is a shinmei torii made with logs from which bark has been removed. This type of torii is present at the tombs of all Emperors of Japan.
Mihashira torii The mihashira torii or Mitsubashira Torii (三柱鳥居) is a type of torii which appears to be formed from three individual torii. It is thought by some to have been built by early Japanese Christians to represent the Holy Trinity.
Myoujin torii The myoujin torii (明神鳥居), by far the most common torii style, are characterized by curved upper lintels (kasagi and shimaki). Both curve slightly upwards. Kusabi are present. A myoujin torii can be made of wood, stone, concrete or other materials and be vermilion or unpainted.
Nakayama torii The Nakayama torii (中山鳥居) style, which takes its name from Nakayama Jinja in Okayama Prefecture, is basically a myoujin torii, but the nuki does not protrude from the pillars and the curve made by the two top lintels is more accentuated than usual. The torii at Nakayama Shrine that gives the style its name is 9 m tall and was erected in 1791.
Daiwa / Inari torii The daiwa or Inari torii (大輪鳥居・稲荷鳥居) is a myoujin torii with two rings called daiwa at the top of the two pillars. The name "Inari torii" comes from the fact that vermilion daiwa torii tend to be common at Inari shrines, but even at the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine not all torii are in this style. This style first appeared during the late Heian period.
Sannou torii The sannou torii (山王鳥居) is myoujin torii with a gable over the two top lintels. The best example of this style is found at Hiyoshi Shrine near Lake Biwa.
Miwa torii Also called sankou torii (三光鳥居) or mitsutorii (三鳥居), the miwa torii (三輪鳥居) is composed of three myoujin torii without inclination of the pillars. It can be found with or without doors. The most famous one is at oumiwa Shrine, in Nara, from which it takes its name.
Ryoubu torii Also called yotsuashi torii (四脚鳥居), gongen torii (権現鳥居) or chigobashira torii (稚児柱鳥居), the ryoubu torii (両部鳥居) is a daiwa torii whose pillars are reinforced on both sides by square posts. The name derives from its long association with Ryoubu Shintou, a variety of Shintou strongly influenced by Buddhism. The famous torii rising from the water at Ikutsushima is a ryoubu torii.
Hizen torii The hizen torii (肥前鳥居) is an unusual type of torii with a rounded kasagi and pillars that flare downwards. The example in the gallery below is the main torii at Chiriku Hachimanguu in Saga prefecture, and a city-designated Important Cultural Property.