Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America (sometimes known as Tsubaki America Jinja or in Japanese as amerika tsubaki ōkamiyashiro (アメリカ椿大神社) is the first Shinto shrine built in the mainland United States. It was erected in 1987 in Stockton, California, and moved to its current location in Granite Falls, Washington in 2001. Gosaijin (enshrinedKami/Spirits) of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America are: Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami, ancestor of all earthly Kami and Kami of progressing positively in harmony with Divine Nature; and his wife Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, Kami of arts and entertainment, harmony, meditation and joy. Also enshrined at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America are: Amaterasu OmiKami(Kami of the Sun), Ugamitama-no-O-Kami (Kami of foodstuffs and things to sustain human life/Oinarisama), America Kokudo Kunitama-no-Kami (protector of North America Continent) and Ama-no-Murakumo-Kuki-Samuhara-Ryu-O (Kami ofAikido).
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America is a branch of Tsubaki Ōkami Yashiro, one of the oldest and most notable shrines in Japan, which celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1997.
The current Guji (Head Priest) of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America is Rev. Koichi Barrish, the second non-Japanese priest in Shinto history.
From Rev. Barrish of the Tsubaki America Jinja (posted to shrine’s FB page)
Tomorrow is Earth Day…shall we OCCUPY EARTH
HAPPY EARTH DAY 2012
May there only be peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life….
…these profound words are attributed to UN Secretary-General U Thant in 1970… when we take these words to heart we can live as human beings
Kannagara Temachi Chihaemase/The Earth Jewel Shines in the Universal Flow...
Tomorrow, 4/22/12 is Earth Day… in Shinto thinking the land of Onogorojima (self condensing ball/Earth/Earth Jewel) was created by Izanagi-no-O-Kami and Izanami-no-O-Kami utilizing the centripetalizing/congealing power of Ame-no-Nuboko (special spear) used to stir the undifferentiated cosmic mass..creating the Sun and the planets (including the Earth). The Kunitsu kami (Earthly Kami) then made all things in the “real world/current world” using elements and plans provided by the Amatsu Kami (Heavenly Kami) based on truth and principle.
Humankinds place in this is as the caretaker of this divine creation… Human beings (whose lives are comprised of Divine Solar Ki) using all their talents and abilities to establish and help the evolution of Utsushi Kunidama (the World in dynamic harmony under one roof). Until this work is accomplished Sarutahiko Okami (Guiding Kami, Kami of KI and Primal Earth Kami) will encourage mankind with great love and patience. When we perform purification (Misogi shuho) we can receive the heartbeat and breath of Okami and Divine Nature.
All things in Nature are based on the structure of parent/child… this includes Human Beings as Children of the Sun, Kami and ancestors and includes fields and valleys, trees and shrubs as children of the mountain who also acts as Mother by adjusting weather and rainfall patterns and air currents… following this pattern fields prosper in harmony with the peace and harmony of the Universe… however if mountains are destroyed and trees cut indiscriminately the result will be the breakdown of the Mother/Child relationship… will cause a negative spiral and if uncorrected destroy foundation and meaning of life.
When we realize that we are not separate from Nature and to willfully damage our Earth Jewel is to damage ourselves and our children’s lives we are preparing to be in harmony with Kamunagara (Okami’s Divine Movement)… of course we recognize the terrible damage being done to our living home… it is painful… but shall we continue to do our utmost together each day… stay as centered and strong and as connected as we can… Oharahinokotoba also teaches us that no matter how truth is concealed, twisted, hushed up or erased… no matter what kind of arbitrary patchwork is done, the Ki of Okami (Divine Nature) will work to reassert (straighten) itself… the meaning of Tohashi Tamahi is we must endeavor to straighten our own behavior.
Ecological thinking and feeling is very great. But there is a tendency towards utilitarian thinking—this tree should be protected as it produces oxygen, we need it, it makes a healthy watershed etc… Shinto thinking is that the tree should be protected because it is alive—it is sacred.
Shinto ecology is based on the simple fact that Spirituality and mysticism cannot be separate or separated from Daishizen/Divine Nature. Divine Nature is the source of spirituality.
In the West our outlook and culture is strongly influenced by the deep thinking of Descartes who postulated: “I think, therefore I am”. While this is a very great achievement it is somewhat egocentric and ultimately leading to duality and isolation. Is this sort of thinking part of the idea that mankind should have dominion over nature?
Shinto thinking is based on the simple fact that we exist in relationship.
- My Life originated with the sun/Taiyo/solar progenitor — therefore I am.
- My Ancestors did their utmost — therefore I am.
- Nature is— therefore I am.
- You are — therefore I am.
- Earth is — therefore I am.
- Sacred Food is coming from the divine Earth — therefore I am.
- My Parents gave me birth — therefore I am.