Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish
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 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.
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. Barrish has popularized the religion outside Japan.