History of Usui Sensui AND Usui Reiki Ryoho
‘Someone who studies hard and works assiduously to improve body and mind for the sake of becoming a better person is called `a man of Great Spirit`. People who use that Great Spirit for a social purpose, that is, to teach the right way to many people and do collective good, are called `teachers`. Dr. Usui was one such teacher. He taught the Reiki of the Universe. Countless people asked him to teach them the great way of Reiki and to heal them —Taken from the memorial to Usui`s virtue. Saihoji Temple, Tokyo
On August 15, Mikao Usui (his pen name was Gyoho) was born in Taniai-mura (now Miyama-cho) Yamagata-gun Gifu-ken. His father was Uzaemon Tsunetane (a military commander) and his mother was from the Kawai family. His ancestor`s name was Tsunetane Chiba (a very famous Samurai from the 8th century). Note to the Reiki student: Usui was born in the mid-1800 AD; Reiki was not re-discovered by him until much later.
Historic point: `The Meiji Restoration` so-called by the Meiji Emperor, began. During this time (1868-1912) Japan opened it`s doors to the outside world after many years of being a closed country. Many reforms were introduced including compulsory education, the revival of conservatism and nationalism (principles adopted from Confucianism and Shintoism) and worship of the emperor. Note to the Reiki student: For over two centuries (1600-1868) all Europeans except the Dutch had been expelled from Japan. Chinese and Dutch had been confined to special trading centers in Nagasaki only. Japanese civilians were not allowed to leave the country. Christianity was sublimated. All Japanese were forced to register at Buddhist temples. Those Japanese who refused to renounce Christianity were executed, as were a number of European missionaries who refused to leave the country.
At the age of 4, it is believed that Usui was sent to a Tendai monastery, where he remained for a period of years. During this time he studied Qi Gong (called Ki-Ko in Japan, closely related to Reiki) to a high level and was able to do projection healing. He meditated regularly at Kurama Yama. Historic point: Temple schools were quite common in that period of time, but disappeared rapidly as the country was modernized. Note to the Reiki Student: When studying original Usui Reiki teachings, some of the techniques described are Qi-Gong techniques such as: Tapping Hand, Pushing Hand, and Stroking Hand, taught in Okuden (Second Degree Reiki).
Historic Point: Ban on Christianity officially lifted.
At the age of 27, it is believed that Usui converted to Shingon Buddhism from the Tendai sect.
Usui was extraordinarily gifted in academics, studying under adversity. He had a very hard life and often lived in poverty. His memorial states that ‘he traveled abroad TO China, US AND Europe, was a talented, hard working student who liked TO READ, AND his knowledge of medicine, history, psychology, Shinsen Jutsu, AND the religions of the world including the Kyoten (Buddhist Bible) were vast’.
Before settling down, Usui-San worked as a missionary, government officer, a businessman who eventually went bankrupt, a journalist, and Secretary to the Mayor of Tokyo and was part of the entourage of Goto Shinpei who was acting governor for Kodama Gentaro, the Governor of Taiwan (1898-1906). He lived a free man and most likely was never a cloistered monk. Periodically, he would visit the prisons, (perhaps as part of missionary work). He married Sadako Suzuki and they had two children, a son Fuji (1908-1946), and a daughter (name unknown 1913-1935). At some point in time there was a split in his family, possibly because of his interest in the Christian texts, differing sects of Buddhism and/or esoteric matters.
Through his life experiences Usui-Sensei discovered the purpose of life was `Anshin Ritsumei` or ‘The state of your mind being totally IN peace, knowing what TO DO WITH your life, bothered BY nothing’. He desired to attain this state of mind, so he began his search.
Historic Point: During `The Meiji Restoration`, society went from an agrarian economy to industrial one. To support this change, many Japanese scholars were sent abroad to study Western science and languages. Is this why Usui traveled and studied abroad? The government also directly supported the prospering of businesses and industries, especially the large and powerful family businesses. These huge expenditures led to a government financial crisis in the middle of the 1880`s. Is this why Usui`s business went bankrupt? Usui probably received much of his education from Kyoto`s extensive libraries and other higher-learning establishments.
Emperor Mutsuhito (the Meiji Emperor) dies, in 1912, Taisho becomes Emperor, 1912-1926—Taisho period.
Usui began training as a Zen Buddhist, studying for 3 years.
He worked toward achieving Satori (the state of Spiritual Enlightenment) but wasn`t succeeding, so he asked his Zen Master what to do. The answer he received was ‘Die ONE TIME’. This motivated him to fast until he either died or became enlightened. In March, distraught with his life, desperately seeking answers, he followed his Zen Masters advice, deciding to fast on Mt. Kurama until he became enlightened. It was not uncommon for Usui to fast as he made regular trips to the mountain to seek answers. This is a common practice called `shyu gyo` a spiritual discipline, including fasts and meditation for 21 days, a strict spiritual training. On his memorial it says that the last morning of his fast `he felt one great Reiki over his head`. Reiki being the wisdom and knowledge of all the Universe. Reiki during Usui sensei`s time and before meant (loosely translated) `atmosphere of the Divine`.
Usui Sensei became enlightened (or achieved Satori) and acquired a healing ability which he called `Reiki Ryoho`. It was also often referred to as `Usui Teate` or `Usui hands-on healing`. He took this gift home and worked on himself and his family. It is said that his wife was ill and Reiki cured her. Usui decided not to just keep Reiki for his family but to make Shoden level `freely available to all of the people` a direct quote from the Usui Reiki Hikkei (one of his teaching manuals).
Note to the Student of Reiki:
It states quite clearly on Usui`s memorial that Kurama Yama was where the meditation took place. 1914 is the date given for Usui`s 21 day fast in two Japanese books about Reiki, but this does not correspond with the dates of his Zen training.
About the sacred mountain – Kurama Yama: Yama means `mountain` and Kurama means `horse saddle`. Mt. Kurama (570 Meters above sea level) is 12 kilometers due north of Kyoto Imperial Palace. The Kurama Temple, founded in 770 as `the guardian of the northern quarter of the capital city` (Heiankyo), is located halfway up the mountain. The original buildings have been repeatedly destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt. The Main Hall was last rebuilt in 1971. The temple formerly belonged to the Tendai sect of Buddhism, but since 1949, it has been included in the newly founded Kurama-Kokyo sect as its headquarters. At the time of Usui`s fast, Kurama Yama was also the location of a spiritualist group called `Rei Jyutsu Ka`, which he may have also attended.
In April 1922, Usui-San founded Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning Society) and opened his first clinic in Aoyama, Tokyo where he practiced Reiki and gave workshops on the technique publicly. During his study of Shinto and Mahayana (Mikkyo) Buddhism techniques he discovered Reiju (Empowerment method) and Hatsurei-ho (Cleansing process for body, mind and spirit). The first record of Usui giving Reiju was in Harajuku, Tokyo in 1922. Usui made the first level teaching (`Shoden`) available to anyone who desired it. Initially it seems that Usui had no set hand positions, all of his work was done intuitively and over areas of imbalance (painful areas). But as he began teaching others to do Reiho, he found the need to create a set of instructions, which he called the Usui Reiki Hikkei.
1923 – Historic Point:
On September 1st, shortly before noon, a great earthquake hit Tokyo and Yokohama, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. Over 100,000 deaths were reported. The epicenter was about 50 miles from Tokyo. That is reported to be the greatest natural disaster in Japanese history. During this emergency, Usui Sensei`s way of giving relief was to `reach out his hands of love to suffering people` and he helped many of the victims. Soon Usui became quite famous and his success and reputation with Reiki were known all over Japan.
Note to the Reiki student:
The earthquake could be the account Takata was referring to when she talked about Usui working in the beggar village.
He outgrew his center and moved it to larger quarters in Nakano, outside of Tokyo in February (today Nakano is part of Tokyo). His travels with Reiki had taken him all over Japan and many of the places he visited were naval bases.
On March 9, Usui-San died of a stroke (one of several), in a town called Fukuyama in Hiroshima-Ken. He had been on a tour bringing Reiki to the people of Kure, Hiroshima and Saga. He was 62. The night before he died it is said that he practiced Reiki.
In February, Usui Sensei`s students erected a memorial to his memory it is located in a graveyard of the Seihoji temple in Tokyo. Much of the information on this history was taken from it. If our dates are correct Usui only practiced and taught Eric for a total of 4 years. In that short time he became very well known and taught Eric to more than 2,000 students (17 of those students were Chinned or Teacher level (3 naval officers, 5 Buddhist nuns, and 9 other associates). Following are the names of some of the students thought to be Shinpiden: Jusaburo Ushida (Gyuda) (did the calligraphy for the memorial), Kanichi Taketomi, Chujiro Hayashi (Naval Officers), Hoichi Wanami, Yoshiharu Watanabe, Toshihiro Eguchi, Masayuki Okada (author of the inscription on the memorial).
Note to Reiki students:
All students of Usui, and Hayashi, were recorded with the Educational Departments in Japan and can be traced. Reiki did not disappear from Japan at any time, not even during the war. No one person was ever appointed to continue the Reiki lineage and there is no record of a Grand Master level in Japan.
Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning Society) is the society Usui formed in April 1922. It is still in existence today. Chairpersons include:
• First – Mikao Usui (b. 1865 – d. 1926),
• Second: Jusaburo Ushida (Gyuda) (b. 1865 – d. 1935 – author of the memorial),
• Third: Kanichi Taketomi (b. 1878 – d. 1960),
• Fourth: Yoshiharu Watanabe,
• Fifth: Hoichi Wanami (b. 1883 – d. 1975),
• Sixth: Ms. Kimiko Koyama (b. 1906, retired 1998 – d. 12/1999, first woman),
• Seventh: Current Chairperson, Masayoshi Kondo.
The Society holds weekly `Shuyo kai` at Tokyo headquarters and twice a year at the branches. During these meetings the students, sing Waka poetry, chant the Reiki Principles and do Hatsurei-ho. While doing Hatsurei-ho, a Shinpiden gives each student Reiju to purify, cleanse and further open the student`s Reiki channels. Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai is a closed society, following closely the original teaching of Usui Sensi. They have their own manual on Reiki called ‘Reiki Ryoho NO Shion’ meaning ‘Reiki Healing Method FROM the Kindness of a Teacher’ which is given only to members of the society.
The society also has two manuals produced by Usui San; one explains Reiki Ryoho and the other shows various Reiho techniques. Anyone may take Shoden or First Level, but higher levels of Reiho are only given when the student is able to exhibit proficiency in various techniques and can demonstrate their healing ability.
In Japan, once a student reaches a level, they are able to display the healing power corresponding to that level and get the expected results. Another way of looking at this, in Usui Reiho taught in Japan, being at a level means that you have mastered it thoroughly. Some students in Japan practice for 10 years before they move to the Okuden or Second Level; Shinpiden or Teacher Level is rarely given. There are only 6 Shinpiden currently in the society, which has 500 members. It is believed that members of the Gakkai still meet on Mt. Kurama to regularly receive Reiju and honor Usui Sensei.
For more information visit: Usui Reiki Ryoho.
History of Chujiro Hayashi
Chujiro Hayashi was born.
June, received his Shinpiden training with Usui Sensei. He was 47 years old at the time and an ex-naval commander in the Imperial Japanese Navy. He also had medical training, which included Eastern teachings (Chinese Medicine). It is believed that 2 other navel officers Jusaburo Ushida (Gyuda), and Kanichi Taketomi were the last Shinpiden students that Usui trained (receiving their training in September). It is known that Hayashi-Sensei did not do Reiju; perhaps Usui gave his last students another method of empowerment, which was faster and more direct. Hayashi called this method of empowerment `transformations`; today we call it an attunement or initiation.
In April, after Usui Sensei made his transition, the three naval officers he taught, took over his clinic at Nakano, near Tokyo. One account says that for about 8 years they operated what we refer to as a hospice for the terminally ill, giving treatments and continuing to teach the original Usui methods.
March, a Japanese Magazine (Sunday Mainichi) did an article on Reiki. It states that Hayashi Sensei had trained Mr. Matsui in Reiki. Mr. Matsui stated that the Reiki Clinic was open every morning for client treatments, and that Mr. Hayashi only taught classes several days a month, the rest of his time was spent doing healing work. He also said that Mr. Hayashi did not advertise and was a very strict man who was dedicated to Reiki. Matsui was persuaded by someone with influence to try Reiki, but not for any spiritual reason.
So he and his wife attended a very expensive, five-day training course on Reiki, classes lasting 1-1 1/2 hours each session. Afterwards they both did healing on people. One of his accounts is working on a man who was close to death; after giving Reiki for 6.5 hours – the man recovered. Mr. Matsui stated he was not interested in the spiritual side of Reiki, he was more interested in the practical approach. When doing healing work, Mr. Matsui puts his hands on the body and feels for imbalances, then treats the area until cleared.
He had not been convinced about Reiki until he actually tried it out and got results. ‘AT that TIME IN Japan, a lot of people were doing different forms of healing AND most NOT affiliated TO Reiki,’ claims Matsui. In an earlier issue, the magazine had reviewed a book by Mr. Matsui. Many people wrote in asking for more information on Reiki; this article was the response.
It is believed that Hayashi Sensei left the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai over a disagreement with the chairperson of the society Taketomi Sensei. Ushida and Taketomi Sensei`s continued Usui`s teaching society, while Hayashi Sensei kept Usui Sensei`s clinic originally called Usui Memorial Clinic. He renamed it `Hayashi Reiki Kenkyuukai` or Hayashi Reiki Research Society.
It is believed that at this time Mr. Tatsumi and several others left Dr. Hayashi`s school because of this and changes that were made to the original teaching style. Hayashi Sensei`s school offered a 5-day Shoden workshop available for a very high price or the students could work with him in his clinic in exchange for the fee (8 hours per week for 3 months for Shoden and 8 hours per week for 9 months for Okuden). Hayashi had his own manual called `Ryoho Shishin` (Healing Method Guideline) which was the same name Usui Sensei used for the `guideline section` of his Hikkei. The look and feel of both manuals are very similar they give recommended positions for treating various illnesses and diseases and were given to Shoden students.
Written in old style Japanese kanji, Hayashi`s manual is about 40 pages long. In the higher level training he also allowed his students to copy his personal notes and may have written several other documents on Reiki. At some point, Hayashi Sensei may have added or been experimenting with material based in Chinese Medicine. This is based on the knowledge that Tatsumi-San received information from Hayashi Sensei referencing Chinese Medicine, including a series of 7 hand positions that worked with the meridians. This information is different from what is contained in Hayashi`s Ryoho Shishin and it appears that Takata Sensei did not receive this information.
Note to the Reiki Student:
Both Usui and Hayashi gave manuals, and allowed their students to copy their personal notes. Reiki was not an oral tradition until Takata.
Jusaburo Ushida made his transition. December 10, Hawayo Takata was attending Hayashi`s Shoden level Reiki (Leiki) class. Mrs. Takata and her 2 daughters stayed with the Hayashi family in Japan a little over 1 year.
May; an excerpt from Takata`s diary: ‘Mr. Hayashi has granted TO bestow upon me the secret of Shinpi Den – Kokiyou-ho AND Leiji-ho (Reiji) – the utmost secret IN the energy science. 1937 – BEFORE Takata LEFT FOR Hawaii, she attended Hayashi`s Okuden level class. There is a poor copy of a photo of a class or a meeting with the title Reiki Ryho ho Kai,1937. At the bottom of the photo in Japanese Kanji are the words `Reiki Ryoho Koushu Kai`, which translates `Reiki Ryoho Training Meeting 1937). (see photo IN History of Hawayo Takata). The NAME Usui Shiki Ryoho means `Usui Style Healing Method`; I believe Hayashi might have casually referred TO the method he taught AS Usui Shiki Ryoho. However he called the system `Usui Reiki Ryoho` AS Usui Sensei did.
Note TO the Reiki student:
It IS interesting TO note that of ALL the people IN the photo CLOSE TO ½ of them are women. So the story about Mrs. Takata being the only woman OR that women were NOT given the Reiki teaching IN Japan IS NOT true. IN fact Hayashi Sensei made his wife a Reiki Teacher AND Usui Sensei initiated 5 Buddhist nuns INTO the Shinpiden level. IN her book, `Reiki – Hawayo Takata`s Story` (ISBN. 0-944135-06-4), Helen Haberly writes: ‘Before she left Tokyo she asked Dr. Hayashi one question which had been bothering her. In all those months at the clinic she had never encountered one poor person – no shabby patients, no laborers – so she asked if he refused to treat such people. He laughed replying, that since this was a very good question, he would answer it.
He told her that all those who entered his door were upper class, even titled, people of wealth, education, and intelligence. When they were ill, they could afford the best doctors and the best hospitals, but they sought more than surgery and drugs. They had Reiki consciousness, so they came to him. The others did not have this understanding, and when illness occurred, they thought the need was for hospitals and doctors and nurses. If called, he would go, no matter how poor they were, but their beliefs were different, so they did not accept him and this drugless treatment. He also assured her when she became an experienced practitioner, she, too, would find this to be so.’ A few weeks after Takata went back to Hawaii; Dr. Hayashi and his daughter arrived and stayed until February 1938.
February 21st, Hayashi officially conferred the title of Reiki Master to Takata. She became a Reiki Teacher or Shinpiden. On the certificate it states the name of the system several times including: `Usui system of Reiki healing`, `Usui Reiki system of drugless healing` and `Dr. Usui`s Reiki system of healing`. The FIRST ONE would be `Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho`, SECOND `Usui Reiki Ryoho` AND third `Dr. Usui`s Reiki Ryoho`; this coming from my limited understanding of Japanese. Here is a translation of words: `Usui` = `mortar + well`, `Reiki` = `spiritual energy`, `Ryoho` = `healing method OR healing system, therapy, remedy, cure`, and `Shiki` = `style, ceremony, rite, method, system, form`. It does not refer to Hayashi Shiki Ryoho (Hayashi style healing method) or only the words Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui Style Healing Method); the word Reiki was used in all cases.
Ms. Chiyoko Yamaguchi a teacher of Reiki Ryoho, learned what she referred to as Hayashi-Shiki Reiki Ryoho (Hayashi style Reiki Healing Method) from Dr. Hayashi. She currently teaches the way she says she learned, – Shoden and Okuden are taught during a 5 day workshop and Teacher level one month later. She does not refer to the Teacher level as Shinpiden because she does not think Hayashi Sensei called it by that name. The certificate Hayashi Sensei issued to her has the name Hayashi Reiki Ryoho Kenkyu-kai (Research Center) on it. In the book `The Reiki Healing` by Fuminori Aoki (master of Reido Reiki) Ms. Yamaguchi is quoted as saying, ‘I am not sure but it can be possible that Hayashi`s teaching method was different BETWEEN teaching IN his clinic IN Tokyo AND going OUT of Tokyo TO teach’. She also said that she was not taught any formal hand positions.
Note to the Student of Reiki:
The information in the 1928 article seems to coincide with the information above from Ms. Yamaguchi, however it appears that the information in the article is talking only about Shoden. 5 days at 1 1/2 hours per day is only 7 1/2 hours, long enough to learn Shoden (IMHO) but not long enough to learn Okuden also. Takata Sensei is known to have been attending a Shoden (Leiki) class December 10, 1935 according to her diary and attended an Okuden class in 1937 before she left for Hawaii.
Perhaps Hayashi Sensei changed his methods by the time Yamaguchi Sensei took her training with him in 1938 or perhaps he would teach each student according to their ability to perceive subtle energy as it seems they do in the Gakkai. Also consider that in the 1936 diary entry, Mrs. Takata stated that she was going to receive Shinpi Den (Master level) from Hayashi Sensei, so he did call Master level by that name when Takata Sensei took her training.
On Mrs. Takata`s certificate, Hayashi Sensei called the system he taught in February 1938, the Usui Reiki system, he did not call it Hayashi Shiki (system) Reiki or Ryoho. Others who took training with Hayashi Sensei however, may have referred to the system as Hayashi Shiki Ryoho (Hayashi Style Healing Method).
May 10th, Chujiro Hayashi took his own life.
Hayashi Sensei had attuned at least 14 Reiki Masters. Tatsumi-San (b. ? – d. 1996) one of Hayashi`s last Shinpiden students, never taught Reiki publicly. Mrs. Hayashi continued to teach Reiki in Japan following the passing of her husband, Mrs. Takata (13th Shinpiden student) spread Reiki in the West and Mrs. Yamaguchi continues to teach Reiki Ryoho in Japan today.
For more information visit: History of Chujiro Hayashi.
History Of Takata Hayashi
December 25, Hawayo Kawamuru was born in Hanamaulu, Kauai, Hawaii. Mr. and Mrs. Otogoro Kawamuru, her parents, were sugar cane workers and immigrants. She was named after the Hawaiian Islands. Hawayo worked as a sugar cane worker, soda fountain clerk, waitress/pantry girl and head of housekeeping for a wealthy family. She worked for this family for about 25 years. It was during her job as head of housekeeping that she met Saichi Takata.
March, Hawayo Kawamuru and Saichi Takata were married. Saichi and Hawayo were very happy together and had 2 daughters (one named Alice Takata-Furumoto, who later had a daughter named Phyllis Lei Furumoto).
Saichi Takata became very ill and went to Japan for treatment. While in Japan he made his transition (died) at age 34. The next several years were very hard for Hawayo; she really pushed herself to cover her grief and worked many long hours to provide for her family. This took its toll on her health and she began experiencing abdominal pain. Her parents went to Japan for a yearlong visit.
Hayawo`s sister made her transition (died) and Hawayo decided to go to Japan to tell her parents and receive treatment for her asthma and abdominal pain. At the hospital in Japan she was ordered to rest, relax and eat lots of good food to regain her strength, before an operation could take place. For the next 3 weeks she relaxed and regained her strength. Just before her operation, she heard a voice say to her that the operation was not necessary; so she asked her doctor about alternatives to surgery. He told her about Hayashi`s Reiki Clinic where she went to receive a treatment that very day. The daily treatments continued for the next 4 months, until she was completely cured. Takata wanted to learn Reiho to preserve her health.
Before Mrs. Takata left for Hawaii, she attended Hayashi`s Okuden level class. There is a poor copy of a photo of a Reiki class with the title `Reiki Ryho ho Kai 1937`. The kanji at the bottom of the picture says, `Reiki Ryoho Koushu Kai` (Reiki Ryoho Training Meeting 1937). A few weeks after Takata went back to Hawaii; Dr. Hayashi and his daughter arrived and stayed until February 1938. When asked about Mrs. Takata`s fee for mastership training, Helen Haberly, one of her students and author of `Reiki, Hawayo Takata`s Story` responded, ‘Mrs. Takata had TO put her house up FOR sale TO pay FOR her Shinpiden training.’
February 21st, Hayashi Sensei officially conferred the title of Reiki Master to Mrs. Takata (Takata`s certificate). She became a Reiki Teacher or Shinpiden.
Note to the Reiki student:
The title of Grand Master did not appear until after Takata Sensei made her transition. Phyllis Lei Furumoto (Takata-San`s grand daughter) was conferred the title `Grand Master` by the Reiki Alliance. The words Shinpiden or Sensei are how a teacher of Reiki is referred to in Japan. The Japanese word `Sensei` means, `teacher, master, doctor` and is a word usually used by students out of respect for their teachers.
Takata Sensei received a telegraph from Hayashi Sensei requesting her to come to his estate immediately. On May 10th, in front of a small gathering of his Shinpiden students and family, Chujiro Hayashi took his own life. He said that he was a man of peace and could not go to war (WW II), which he intuited was about to begin. Takata Sensei lived on Kauai, the big island (Hawaii) and Oahu. In 1955 she owned a health spa in La Jocinta, California which she sold and moved back to Hawaii. She also had a Reiki clinic on the big island, which she closed and it is believed she opened another one later on Oahu. She traveled throughout the US in the 1970`s spreading Reiki teachings, which she referred to as Usui Reiki Ryoho but used `Usui Shiki Ryoho` or (`The Usui System of Natural Healing`) on her certificates.
On a tape recording made during a class in 1979, Takata Sensei told the history of Reiki and said that she learned `Usui Reiki Ryoho` from Dr. Hayashi, which is the same name that Usui Sensei called it. She also said that Hayashi Sensei taught her exactly what he learned from Usui Sensei and that is what she teaches, with no changes. In 1976 she charged $125 US for First Degree (Shoden), $400 US for Second Degree (Okuden) and $10,000 US for Teaching or Master Degree (Shinpiden).
Note to the Reiki student:
Not all of her master students paid the $10,000 fee. We recently heard of one who paid $1,000 plus sponsored a number of Mrs. Takata`s classes in exchange for the balance of the fee. We also know that Virginia Samdahl, Ethel Lombardi and Barbara Weber (Ray) sponsored numerous classes for Mrs. Takata; perhaps in exchange for some or all of their Mastership fee.
Takata Sensei began to train Master students. Her first four Master students trained in 1976 were: Virgina Samdahl, Barbara McCullough, Ethel Lombardi and John Harvey Gray. It is not known when Mrs. Takata made her sister Kay a Reiki Master, our guess is sometime earlier.
December, Hawayo Takata made her transition. She trained a total of 22 Reiki Masters. Following is a list of those students: Dorothy Baba, Ursula Baylow, Rick Bockner, Patricia Bowling Ewing, Barbara Brown, Fran Brown, Phyllis Furumoto, Beth Gray, John Gray, Iris Ishikuro, Harry Kuboi, Ethel Lombardi, Barbara McCullough, Mary McFadyen, Paul Mitchell, Shinobu Saito, Bethel Phaigh, Virginia Samdahl, Wanja Twan, Barbara Weber Ray, Kay Yamashita, and George Araki.
For more information visit: History of Takata Sensei.
Memorial Of usui Sensei`s ‘Kudoku’ (Benevolence)
From Rick Rivard Following is a translation of the Memorial to Usui. All items in italic are notes or explanations regarding the text. Translation by Emiko Arai with corrections by Ms. M. Riggall and Mr. H. Doi.
It is called `toku` which people experience by culture and training, and `koh` which people practice teaching and the way to save people. (`koh` + `toku`= `kudoku).
Only the person who has high virtue and does good deeds can be called a great founder and leader. From ancient times, among wisemen, philosophers, geniuses and (a phrase that means: very straight and have the right kind of integrity), the founders of a new teaching or new religion are like that. We could say that Usui Sensei was one of them. Usui ‘Sensei’ (literally ‘he who comes BEFORE'; thus teacher, or respected person) newly started the method that would change mind and body for better by using universal power. People hearing of his reputation and wanting to learn the method, or who wanted to receive the therapy, gathered around from all over. It was truly prosperous.
Sensei`s common name is Mikao and other name was Gyoho (perhaps his spiritual name). He was born in the Taniai-mura (village) in the Yamagata district of Gifu prefecture (Taniai is now part of Miyama Village). His ancestor`s name is Tsunetane Chiba (a very famous Samurai from the 8th century). His father`s name was Uzaemon. His mother`s maiden name was Kawai.
Sensei was born in the first year of the Keio period, called Keio Gunnen (1865), on August 15th. From what is known, he was a talented and hard-working student. His ability was far superior. After he grew up, he traveled to Europe, America and China to study. He wanted to be successful in life, but couldn`t achieve it; often he was unlucky and in need. But he didn`t give up; he disciplined himself to study more and more.
One day he went to Kuramayama to start an asceticism (it says ‘shyu gyo’ – a very strict process of spiritual training using meditation and fasting). On the beginning of the 21st day, suddenly he felt one large Reiki over his head and he comprehended the truth. At that moment he got Reiki ‘Ryoho’ (healing method). When he first tried this on himself, and then on his family, good results manifested instantly. Sensei said that it is much better to share this pleasure with the public at large than to keep this knowledge to our family. So he moved his residence to Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. There he founded ‘Gakkai’ (a learning society) to teach and practice Reiki Ryoho in April of the 11th year of the Taisho period (1922). Many people came from far and wide and asked for the guidance and therapy, and even lined up outside of the building.
September of the twelfth year of the Taisho period (1923), there were many injured and sick people all over Tokyo because of the Kanto earthquake and fire. Sensei felt deep anxiety. Everyday he went around the city to treat them. It could not be counted how many people were treated and saved by him. During this and other emergency situations, his relief activity was that of reaching out his hands of love to suffering people.
After that, his learning place became too small. In February of the 14th year of the Taisho period (1925), he built and moved to a new one, outside Tokyo in Nakano (Nakano is now part of Tokyo). Because his fame had risen still more, he was often invited to many places in Japan. In answering those requests, he went to Kure, then to Hiroshima, to Saga and reached Fukuyama. It was during his stay in Fukuyama that he unexpectedly got sick and died. He was 62 years old at that time(The date of Usui san`s death is March 9, 1926). His wife was from Suzuki family; her name was Sadako. They had a son and a daughter. The son`s name was Fuji who carried on the Usui family (meaning the property, business, family name, etc. Born in 1907, at the time of his father`s death Fuji was 19. It is known now that Fuji also taught Reiki in Taniai village).
Sensei was very mild, gentle and humble by nature. He was physically big and strong, yet he kept smiling all the time. However, when something happened, he prepared towards a solution with firmness and patience. He had many talents. He liked to read, and his knowledge was very deep of history, biographies, medicine, theological books like Buddhism Kyoten (Buddhist bible) and bibles (scriptures), psychology, jinsen no jitsu (god hermit technique), the science of direction, ju jitsu, incantations (the ‘spiritual way of removing sickness AND evil FROM the body’), the science of divination, physiognomy (face reading) and the I Ching. I think that Sensei`s training in these, and the culture which was based on this knowledge and experience, led to the key to perceiving Reiho (short for ‘Reiki Ryoho’). Everybody would agree with me.
Looking back, the main purpose of Reiho was not only to heal diseases, but also to have right mind and healthy body so that people would enjoy and experience happiness in life. Therefore, when it comes to teaching, first let the student understand well the Meiji Emperor`s admonitory—that in the morning and in the evening, let them chant and have in mind the five precepts which are:
• First we say, today don`t get angry.
• Secondly we say, don`t worry.
• Third we say, be thankful.
• Fourth we say, endeavor your work.
• Fifth we say, be kind to people.
This is truly a very important admonitory. This is the same way wise men and saints disciplined themselves since ancient times. Sensei named these the ‘secret methods of inviting happiness'; ‘the spiritual medicine of many diseases’ to clarify his purpose to teach. Moreover, his intention was that a teaching method should be as simple as possible and not difficult to understand. Every morning and every evening, sit still in silence with your hands in prayer and chant the precepts, then a pure and healthy mind will be nurtured. In its truest sense, practice and use this in daily life. This is the reason why Reiho became so popular.
Recently, the world condition has been in transition. There is great change in people`s thoughts. Fortunately, if Reiho can be spread throughout the world, it will be a big help for people who have a confused mind or who have little morality. Surely Reiho is useful for more than healing chronic diseases and bad habits.
The number of the students of Sensei`s teaching reaches over 2,000 people already. Among them senior students, who remained in Tokyo, are carrying on Sensei`s learning place (Dr. Hayashi took title to the school in November, 1926 and together with Mr. Taketomi and Mr. Gyuda, relocated it to Shinano Machi in 1926, and ran it as a hospice) and the others in different provinces,also, are trying to spread Reiki as much as possible. Although Sensei died, Reiho has to be spread and to be known by many people in the long future. Aha! What a great thing that Sensei has done` having perceived this technique, to have shared this Reiho, with the people unsparingly.
Now many students converged at this time and decided to build this memorial at Saihoji Temple in the Toyotama district (boundaries have changed and the temple is now in Suginami district) to make clear his benevolence and to spread Reiho to the people in the future. I was asked to write these words. Because I deeply appreciate his work and I was honored to be a student of Sensei, I accepted this work instead of refusing it. I would sincerely hope that people would not forget looking up to Usui Sensei with respect.
Composed by ‘ju-san-i’ (‘subordinate third rank, the Junior Third Court (Rank) — an honorary title), Doctor of Literature, Masayuki Okada. Written (brush strokes) by Navy Rear Admiral, ‘ju-san-i kun-san-tou ko-yon-kyu’ (‘subordinate third rank, the Junior Third Court (Rank), 3rd order of merit, 4th class’ — again, an honorary title) Juzaburo Gyuda (also pronounced Ushida). Second Year of Showa (1927), February.
Trnslation Of the Usui Memorial at SaiHoti Temple, Tokyo, Japan
© Universal Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000. Emiko Arai and Richard Rivard. Please feel free to share this with others:
Since a friend in Japan sent us pictures of the Usui memorial in the spring of 1996, we have been wanting to put this web page up. Many other projects got in the way, and we didn`t get a good close-up of the monument until our friend Shiya Fleming brought back some in July, 1997. Finally, we have completed enough to present this to you, over a year later.
This is a fairly literal translation of the Usui memorial, as we wanted you, the reader, to get as close a rendition to plain English as possible, without any paraphrasing. This allows you to decide how you would rephrase sentences and paragraphs. There are a few phrases that we haven`t translated yet.
All comments in (brackets) are either our translations of previous kanji (in quotations), or our explanation of previous words. Please note: there are no periods or paragraphs on the original, so we have added these in to make it easier to read. Also, as in all translations, we had several choices of words for each kanji, and tried to pick what we felt best. Our thanks to Melissa Riggall, Miyuki Arasawa, Yukio Miura and Mr. Hiroshi Doi for for their corrections offered.
Please share this with all, but we ask you to leave the copyright with it. For pictures and location of the memorial, please visit the Saihoji Temple pages. (I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have offered changes and corrections to the translation):
‘Reihou Chouso Usui Sensei Kudoko No Hi’ Memorial of Reiki Founder Usui Sensei`s Benevolence
( The top of the memorial reads, from right to left: Reihou: spiritual method, Reiki method; Chouso: founder; ‘Usui'; Sensei: teacher; Kudoku: benevolence, a various (pious) deed; no Hi: of memorial, a tombstone, a monument).
It is called `toku` that people experience by culture and training, and `koh` that people practice teaching and the way to save people. (`koh` + `toku`= `kudoku; Kou = distinguished service, honor, credit, achievement; Toku = a virtue, morality).
Only the person who has high virtue and does good deeds can be called a great founder and leader. From ancient times, among wisemen, philosophers, geniuses and (a phrase that means—very straight and having the right kind of integrity), the founders of a new teaching or new religion are like that…We could say that Usui Sensei was one of them.
Usui `Sensei` (literally `he who comes before`, thus teacher, or respected person) newly started the method that would change mind and body for better by using universal power. People hearing of his reputation and wanting to learn the method, or who wanted to have the therapy, gathered around from all over. It was truly prosperous.
Sensei`s common name is Mikao and other name was Gyoho (perhaps his spiritual name). He was born in the Taniai-mura (village) in the Yamagata district of Gifu prefecture (Taniai is now part of Miyama Village). His ancestor`s name is Tsunetane Chiba (a very famous Samurai who had played an active part as a military commander between the end of Heian Period and the beginning of Kamakura Period (1180-1230). See the notes at the end on the Usui family Ancestors.) His father`s name was Uzaemon (it was his popular name; his given name was Taneuji ). His mother`s maiden name was Kawai.
Sensei was born in the first year of the Keio period, called Keio Gunnen (1865), on August 15th. From what is known, he was a talented and hard working student. His ability was far superior. After he grew up, he traveled to Europe, America and China to study (yes, it actually says that!). He wanted to be a success in life, but couldn`t achieve it; often he was unlucky and in need. But he didn`t give up and he disciplined himself to study more and more.
One day he went to Kuramayama to start an asceticism (it says `shyu gyo` – a very strict process of spiritual training using meditation and fasting. Another Japanese translation says `penance while fasting`). On the beginning of the 21st day, suddenly he felt one large Reiki over his head and he comprehended the truth. At that moment he got Reiki `Ryoho` (healing method).
When he first tried this on himself, then tried this on his family, good results manifested instantly. Sensei said that it is much better to share this pleasure with the public at large than to keep this knowledge to our family (it was customary to keep such knowledge in the family to increase their power). So he moved his residence to Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. There he founded ‘Gakkai’ (a learning society) to teach and practice Reiki Ryoho in April of the 11th year of the Taisho period (1922). Many people came from far and wide and asked for the guidance and therapy, and even lined up outside of the building.
September of the twelfth year of the Taisho period (1923), there were many injured and sick people all over Tokyo because of the Kanto earthquake and fire. Sensei felt deep anxiety.
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