Our name was a gift from the Reverend Yukiyasu Yamamoto, the 97th Generation Guji/High Priest of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Suzuka City, Mie, Japan. Alvarez Sensei has been a supporter of the main shrine in Japan as well as its branch shrine, Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, in Granite Falls, WA since 1989. He is honored to have as friends the Reverend Yamamoto as well as the Reverend’s Hitoshi Iwasaki, Tetsuji Ohiai and Yukihiko Tsumura, the resident priests at the shrine when it was in Stockton, CA. One day, while
talking with Rev. Tsumura, Alvarez Sensei mentioned in passing that he would like to have a Japanese name for our dojo, but could not decide what it should be. Tsumura-san asked Reverend Yamamoto if he could think of a name for us. About a year passed, and the conversation about the dojo name had passed from
Sensei's thoughts., one day while Reverend Yamamoto was in California to officiate at the Stockton shrine's anniversary, he presented Sensei with the name "Shinrei." The kanji representing the name "Shinrei" consists of two characters. The first one, "shin," is the kanji for "kami," or "spirit." The second one, "rei," translates to "little bell," but can also be pronounced "suzu", as the shrine is in Suzuka, Japan the meaning behind it is that our dojo is connec
ted to and protected by the Kami of Suzuka. That Kami is "Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami" whom O-Sensei regarded as his personal guardian spirit and as the guardian deity of Aikido. Tsubaki Grand Shrine is the main shrine of Sarutahiko O-Kami and is one place where O-Sensei practiced waterfall misogi (purification). Alvarez Sensei had been very close to the various priests in residence at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America when it was located in Stockton, CA and is a close friend of the Reverend Lawrence Koichi Barrish who assumed the role of chief priest when the shrine moved to Washington state. The endowment of this sacred name "Shinrei" was a great gift from Reverend Yamamoto and will be cherished as a sign of connection between our dojo here in Livermore and Tsubaki Dai Jinga in Japan.
With Reverend Yukiyasu Yamamoto  97th Generation Guji - High Priest of Tsubaki Yashiro
Alvarez Sensei performing Misogi Shuho in Kinryu no Taki - the sacred waterfall at Tsubaki Grand Shrine - Mie, Japan