“Anima” means life and can be defined as soul, breath, spirit….Anima can be defined as élan vital—— we can describe Anima with the Japanese word: “KI”. Inochi, a Japanese word meaning “Life force” is also very useful when considering Anima…
Shinto, is the natural spirituality originating from the spontaneous reverence for Divine Nature in deep prehistory. Shinto is the genius of Japan and the soul of Japanese Culture. Since ancient times rituals to harmonize with the KI / the anima of Divine Nature have been conducted each day without fail at 100,000 Shinto Shrines existing in Japan……Shinto can be said to be the spirituality of Anima. Japan can be said to be the “Culture of Anima”. Shinto Kami are the deification of the cosmic generative vitality/ the anima at the source of all beings—both animate and inanimate. Shinto ritual practices are aimed and rejuvenating, purifying and harmonizing with anima.
Inochi/ life force/ anima is present in all beings—this is including animals, plants and rocks—— such thinking forms the roots of Shinto and so forms the roots of Japanese Culture.
Jung, a preeminent figure in Western understanding of mind felt that it was though fantasy that the modern rationalistic mind could come into contact with the rich primordial depths of the sub-conscious mind——the realm of intuitive understanding —the realm of Shinto. Basic in our modern human lives is the deep longing, the deep calling for the richness of connection to our primal intuitive sub-conscious experience…..Shinto answers that primal calling,
When we consider “anime” whose essence is giving life to pictures in this paradigm we can understand better the passion, dedication and excitement of anime fans——and also understand the connection, the importance and special relationship of Anime to the spiritual nourishment at the core of Shinto activity….
Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish
Is the head shinto Priest at Tsubaki America Grand Shrine; Lawrence Koichi Barrish is the senior aikido instructor of Kannagara Aikido. Barrish is also the senior Kannushi/ Shrine Shinto priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, the US Branch of the Tsubaki Okami Yashiro in Mie (Iga) Japan, which is one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious shrines. Tsubaki Okami Yashiro has an unbroken history of over 2000 years and is the main shrine of Aikido’s Guardian/Ancestor Kami. Being the first American to be licensed as a professional Shinto priest and an aiki practitioner with over 40 years training and teaching experience gives Barrish Sensei some unique insights into both the physical and spiritual activity of aikido.