SHINTO AND ANIME By Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish

f699804b07e14e45ddb6447e6809195e“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 “Lifeforce” 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 is 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 a 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….

revbarrishRev. 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 Aikido practitioner with over 40 years training and teaching experience gives Barrish Sensei some unique insights into both the physical and spiritual activity of aikido.

Lawrence Koichi Barrish Lawrence Barrish was born on April 15, 1950.[1] Since he was nineteen years old, he has practiced Bujutsu. Since the early 1970s, he has had an interest in the Japanese folk religion Shinto. Barrish is the first American and second non-Japanese to become a Shinto priest. He moved to Washington from Los Angeles and founded the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America in 1987, the largest Shinto shrine in the USA. In 1989, Barrish became Michiko under the teaching of Yamamoto Guji, Iwasaki Hitoshi, Kawashima Toshioka and other Shinto priests of Tsubaki Shrine.[2] Barrish has popularized the religion outside Japan.

We got reprint print permission from Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish.

Let’s know in the comments. if you like what we are doing, click “Like,” “fellow”, and give us “Feedback” in the “comments,“ and get an email notification about a new post.

About Charles Onaje Lucas

Founder of Otaku Times オタクの世界 and Dojo-cho of the Bujinkan Rukasu Budo Dojo. Shiatsu and Reiki Practitioner, otaku, martial artist, artist, and actor living in Flushing, Queens, New York.

There are 3 comments

  1. Serenity

    Rev. Barrish is an incredibly kind and amazing man whom I’ve met on several occasions. He’s a very powerful and spiritual sensei and I’m honored to have met and spoke with him. He even did special blessings for my young daughter when she was ill and blessed her during shichigosan. An amazing man indeed ^_^

    1. Charles O. Lucas

      Thank you for the kind words; I meet the Rev. Barrish blessed my whole home and dojo last year. He was just here and re-blessed my home and dojo. He gave us permission to reprint his article. I so happy to meet another person who knows this incredible man.

  2. N Elizabeth Johansen

    To me to say popularized, might not be the best word. Reverend Barrish has made Shinto more accessible to many people who live outside of Japan. This accessibility has made a profound impact on my life, and I’m sure, the lives of many others.

Comments are closed.