Bradway, Kay

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 3, Number 1, 1993

KEY WORDS: Torii, transformation, gate, sandplay therapy, symbol, Japan, clinical example, boundary, passage, sandplay therapy.

ABSTRACT: A brief history of the development of toriis in Japan (with 4 accompanying photos) is followed by a presentation and discussion of 10 photos showing sandtrays of 5 sandplayers (3 women, 2 men) who used toriis. Recurring themes or imagery which connected the torii with transformation included use of the torii as a boundary between the conscious and unconscious with movement possible in either direction, and reference to one’s readiness and the preparations required before going through the torii. Other common themes were portrayal of objects blocking the way, a bridge appearing in association with the torii, extending the experience of passage, and release of energy for life occurring after the experience of passing through the torii.