Reiki History

Reiki History began with the energy being rediscovered by Dr Mikao Usui 1865-1926 in 1865 who founder of Usui Reiki,. As a child he studied in a Tendai Buddhist monastery school entering at an early age.

He was a talented , hard working student. He was a student of different martial arts. His knowledge of medicine, psychology and theology of religions around the world, including the Kyoten ( Buddhist Bible) was vast. He married a woman named Sadako and together they had a son ad daughter.

usuiUsui studied and travelled to western countries and China several times. During his life, Usui held many different professions including of convicts. Usui travelled throughout Japan, studying at Buddhist temple and asking questions about healing. He was allowed to study the sacred writings at each temple and he would find something about healing and would copy the information into his notebook. In one small monastery he found some ancient Sanskrit writings from India (or perhaps Tibet). In these writings he found the symbols for healing, but lacked the ability to use them. Usui wanted to read the sacred books in original language, so learned Chinese and eventually Sanskrit. He became friends with the Abbot of a Zen monastery who was also interested in physical healing. Here he stayed and studied Buddhist scriptures, the SUTRAS.

At the end of the 7-year search, Dr Usui had the information but not the ability to heal. He then decided to follow the formula and go on the retreat that Buddha himself followed. So, one day he went to Mount Karama on a 21-day retreat to fast and meditate and gathered 21 stones. At the end of this period he suddenly felt the great Reiki energy at the top of his head, which led to the Reiki healing system.

Each day he would throw away a stone and in this way count the time. On the 20th day nothing had come as yet and he threw away the last stone saying "Well, this is it, either I get the answer tonight or I do not". As morning approached, he could see a ball of light coming toward him on the horizon. The first instinct was to get out of the way, but he realized this might just be what he was waiting for, so allowed it to hit him right in the forehead. "I am what you have waited for."As it struck him he was taken on a journey and shown bubbles of all the colours of the rainbow in which were the symbols of Reiki, the very same symbols in the Tibetan writings he was studying but had been unable to understand.Now as he looked at them again, there was total understanding. When he again became aware of his surroundings, the sun was high in the sky, telling him that the journey had taken a few hours. After returning from this experience he began back down the mountain and was, from this moment on, able to heal.

On his way down the mountain, he stubbed his toe so hard that blood was coming from under the nail. He instinctively grabbed his toe and held it until the pain was gone. When he took his hand away, his toe was completely healed.

On his journey back to the monastery, he came across a home that had a red table cloth over the outside table. This meant that the home served food and that they were open. Dr. Usui stopped for a meal to break his 21 day fast. The owner saw that he was in monk’s robes and in a condition indicating a long fast. "I will fix you some rice gruel." This was the best food for breaking a long fast, as regular food would make a person very sick. "No, please bring me a full meal, all the regular food."

After some arguing about it, the owner had his daughter bring out a full meal for Mikao, which he ate with no ill effects. While he was eating, he noticed that the owner’s daughter had an ailing tooth, which was very swollen and painful. Dr. Usui laid his hands on the check of the girl for sometime and when he removed his hands, the tooth was healed, the swelling gone and no pain was felt. Dr. Usui was excited to return to the monastery. When he arrived, he asked to see his mentor. After cleaning himself up and putting on fresh clothing, he related the entire story to the monk. The abbot, having been bed ridden from chronic arthritis then asked Dr. Usui to heal him of this disease, which Dr. Usui promptly did. These are known as the first four miracles.

Dr. Usui wanted to use these abilities to help others. He spent the next seven years in the beggars section of Tokyo healing the poor and sick people there, sending them to a monk to learn meditation and to help them find employment, and thereby, elevating them out of poverty. After the seven years he noticed familiar faces, those of people whom he'd healed long ago who were back again. Asking them, they complained that life outside beggar town was hard and that it was much simpler to beg for a living. They had thrown away the gift of health, as if it had no value, to return to the supposed comfort of the life they knew.

This threw Dr. Usui into a quandary and he returned to the monastery. From this he realized he hadn't taught gratitude along with the healing. That he'd focused on the physical ailments without dealing with the spiritual matters. The people did not understand the value of the gift he gave them.

In this way he travelled around teaching and healing, working both with the spiritual healing as well as physical healing. He first used Reiki on himself, then tried it on his family. Since it worked well for various ailments, he decided to share this knowledge with the public at large.

He opened a clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo in April of the 11th year of the Taisho period (1922). He not only gave treatments to countless patients, some of whom had come from far and wide, but he also hosted workshops to spread his knowledge.

In September of the twelfth year of the Taisho period (1923), the devastating Kanto earthquake shook Tokyo. Thousands were killed,injured, or became sick in its aftermath. Dr. Usui grieved for his people, but he also took Reiki to the devastated city and used its healing powers on the surviving victims. His clinic soon became too small to handle the throng of patients, so in February of the 14th year of the Taisho period(1925), he built a new one outside Tokyo in Nakno.

Reiki not only heals diseases, but also amplifies (kiterjesztett ) innate abilities, balances the spirit, makes the body healthy and thus helps achieve happiness.

The sixteen teachers initiated by Dr Usui included:

  1. Toshihiro Eguchi
  2. Jusavburo Guids
  3. Ilichi Taketomi
  4. Toyoichi Wanami
  5. Yoshiharu Watanabe
  6. Keizo Ogawa
  7. J. Ushida
  8. Chujiro Hayashi

DR Chujiro HAYASHI 1880-1940 hayasi

On 10/5/1941, Chujiro Hayashi died.

Retired Naval Officer and surgeon and one of Usui’s 21  Teacher students. Mr Chujiro Hayashi, was a commander in the Imperial Navy of Japan, and the Reiki grand master with the responsibility of leading all the other Reiki teachers after Usui's death. Dr Hayashi opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo and kept records of treatments which demonstrated that Reiki finds the source of the physical symptoms, fills the energy need and restores the body to wholeness. He used this information to create the hand positions, the system of three degrees and the initiation procedure. Mr Chujiro Hayashi received the Reiki Master's degree in 1925 at the age of 47. He initiated thirteen masters.

Sensing a great war was coming Dr Hayashi decided to pass the complete Reiki teachings on to a woman to preserve them. Hawayo Takata was chosen for this purpose.

It was he who brought Reiki from Japan to the USA when he visited HAWAII at the end of 1936 to meet his student HAWAYO TAKATA


TakataOne of Dr Hayashi’s 13 students and responsible for bringing Reiki to the West. In 1935 Hawayo Takata went to Japan for healing at Maeda Hospital in Akasaka then to Hayashi's Reiki clinic, Shina No Machi, Tokyo. She was healed in 4 months.

Hawayo Takata received Reiki I from Chujiro Hayashi and in 1937 she received Reiki I and then returned to Hawaii.

She opened her first healing clinic in Kappa. In 1938 Takata received Mastership from Hayashi in Hawaii. On 22/2/1939, Chujiro Hayashi announced Hawayo Takata as Reiki Master and his successor.The following is Mrs. Hawayo Takata's version of her early years leading up to her contact with Reiki at the Hayashi clinic:

In order to provide for her family, she had to work very hard with little rest. She developed severe abdominal pain and a lung condition, and she had a nervous breakdown. Soon after this one of her sisters died and it was Hawayo's responsibility to travel to Japan, where her parents had resettled, to deliver the news. She also felt she could receive help for her health in Japan. After informing her parents, she entered a hospital and stated that she was diagnosed with a tumour, gallstones, appendicitis and asthma. She was told to prepare for an operation but opted to visit Dr. Hayashi's clinic Instead. Mrs. Takata was unfamiliar with Reiki but was impressed that the diagnosis of Reiki practitioners at the clinic closely matched the doctors at the hospital.

She began receiving treatments. Two Reiki practitioners would treat her each day. The heat from their hands was so strong, she said, that she thought they were secretly using equipment. Seeing the large sleeves of the Japanese kimono worn by one, she thought she had found the secret place of concealment. Grabbing his sleeves one day she startled the practitioner, but, of course, found noting. When she explained what was doing, he began to laugh and then told her about Reiki and how it worked.

Mrs. Takata got progressively better and in four months was completely healed. She wanted to learn Reiki for herself. In the spring of 1936 she received First Degree Reiki from Dr. Hayashi. She then worked with him for a year and received Second Degree Reiki 1937.

Mrs. Takata returned to Hawaii in 1937, followed shortly thereafter by Dr. Hayashi and his daughter who came to help establish Reiki there.

In February of 1938 Dr. Hayashi initiated Hawayo Takata as a Reiki Master. Mrs Takata introduced large sums of money in return for the initiation into Reiki in the hope of making the western mind understand Dr Usui's principle of showing gratitude.

The story of Dr Usui being a Christian monk was created by Mrs Takata, as the war created bad feeling between the West and Japan. Mrs Takata believed a Christian background would be more acceptable than a Buddhist.

She became a well-known healer and travelled to the U.S. mainland and other parts of the world teaching and giving treatments. She was a powerful healer who attributed her success to the fact that she did so much Reiki on each client. She would often do multiple treatments, each sometimes lasting hours. Students of the Reiki teacher stayed with that teacher the rest of one's life.

In addition, she did not allow her students to take notes or to tape-record the classes, and they were not allowed to make any written copies of the Reiki symbols. Everything had to be memorized.

It is not certain why she said this or why she taught Reiki this way. What we do know from research in Japan and the research of others, is that these rules are not part of the way Usui Sensei practiced Reiki.

Reiki energy is very flexible and creative, treating each unique situation with a unique response and working freely with all other forms of healing. The Reiki energy itself provides a wonderful model for the practice of Reiki.

This began to be acknowledged gradually after Mrs. Takata passed on. Somehow in the process of bringing Reiki to the West, changes occurred.

Before Mrs. Takata made her transition on 11th December 1980, she had initiated twenty-two Reiki Masters.

The Masters trained by Ishikura at this lower fee began training many other Masters in turn. Out of this group, many were open to change and began allowing the wisdom of the Reiki energy to guide them in the way they should practice and teach Reiki. Because of this, restrictive rules began to fall away.

Reiki classes became more open and more supportive of the leaning process. These twenty-two Masters began teaching others. However, Mrs. Takata had made each one take a sacred oath to teach Reiki exactly as she had taught it. This made it difficult for most of them to change, even though some of her rules seemed to go against the nature of Reiki and made it more difficult to learn. Workbooks were created, notes and tape recordings were allowed, reasonable fees were charged and many began studying with more than one teacher. All this generated greater respect for Reiki.

Below is a list of the Reiki Masters she initiated. This is the list (18) she gave to her sister before she passed through transition.

  • George Araki
  • Phyllis lei Furumoto
  • Barbara McCullough
  • Dorothy Baba
  • Beth Gray
  • Mary McFadyen
  • Ursula Baylow
  • John Gray
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Rick Bockner
  • Iris Ishikura
  • Bethal Phaigh
  • Fran Brown
  • Harry Kuboi
  • Barbara Weber Ray
  • Patricia Ewing
  • Ethel Lombardi
  • Barbara Brown

My Reiki Master’Master learned from Beth Grey who was initiated by Mrs Takata. Receiving an attunement from us means.