Sake Reverend Koichi Barrish

First American Reverend Blesses Sake Brewery in Shinto Religious Ceremony

Sake Reverend Koichi Barrish

SakeOne brewery blessed by Reverend Koichi Barrish in a unique and sacred Shinto ritual.

SakeOne, a large sake supplier located in the Oregon, was recently blessed by the first non-Japanese Shinto Reverend, Koichi Barrish. In a spiritual tradition, individuals, including the president of SakeOne, gathered to celebrate and rid the brewery of any bad spirits. By splashing special sake and tossing sand and salt onto the ground with a steady drumming in the background, evil spirits were banished from the area. However, not just anyone could perform such a sacred ritual.

Rev. Koichi Barrish

The Shinto way of life has been around for thousands of years, and every priest since the foundation has been Japanese. However, an American, Koichi Barrish, was the first person to break this long held tradition. In an interview, this highly regarded priest was questioned about his background and his understanding of the Shinto religion.

For over 35 years, Barrish taught Aiki-Do, which involves many Shinto meditation practices and thought processes. Upon becoming more interested on this sacred religion, he learned under the teaching of one of the highest ranked priests in Japan, Rev. Yukitaka.

It is thought that human-beings are divisions of the spirits of the Gods, or Kamisama. Upon passing, our spirit returns, but it is also possible to become more like the Kami without dying. The most significant way is becoming thankful and remaining positive about the past, present, and future. He also mentions that, while people can practice daily, Shintoism is more a way of life, rather than a religion that must be recognized every day.

SakeOne received an amazing honor by being blessed by the very first non-Japanese Shinto priest. The blessing will likely bring many favorable years to the company by warding off the mischievous spirits. The Reverend’s understanding of Shintoism is very existential and powerful for the common person.

In August, Oregon again made history by hosting the first ever Mikagura ritual to be performed in the U.S.


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