Reiki History



Story Of Dr. USUI As Told By Mrs. Takata

Version Written by Adonea:

In the late-1800 AD, a man named Dr. Mikao Usui (born 1865) rediscovered this ancient science, which he called Reiki. The story, as told by Mrs. Takata goes something like this: Dr. Usui, a minister and dean of a Christian school in Kyoto, Japan, was teaching a class, when one of his students asked him if he believed that Jesus healed. His response was yes, of course. The student then asked him for a demonstration of this healing. He did not have this knowledge, so he could not comply.


This one simple question changed Dr. Usui`s life. It stirred inside of him the desire to know how to heal. With the knowledge that Jesus healed, he decided to start his search in America, the land of Christianity. So he enrolled in the University of Chicago. In his seven year study of theology and comparative religions, he learned about the Buddha and his healing abilities. But he found no answers.

Dr. Usui went back to Japan to continue his search. He visited all of the Buddhist temples and asked the monks if they knew how to heal. All gave the same answer; they only concentrated on spiritual matters. At one of the temples, he met an old abbot who remembered that the monks knew how to heal at one time, but it was now a lost art. He offered Dr. Usui the opportunity to stay and study the Japanese Sutras, to see if he might find the information he sought. (Photo to the left above is Dr. Mikao Usui)

After spending many years studying the sutras and finding nothing, Dr. Usui decided to learn Chinese. Chinese is an older language and many of the Japanese Sutras were translated from Chinese. He studied and studied for many more years and still found no answers.

There was only one other place that he knew of to look; the Sanskrit Sutras. So he learned Sanskrit and began studying these sutras. Finally an answer came. In the Healing Buddha and Lotus Sutras, he found a formula for healing. He was so ecstatic about this discovery, that he took the information immediately to the old abbot. Together they decided that to discover the full meaning of the information, Dr. Usui must meditate.

The next morning, Dr. Usui began the 17 mile walk to Mt. Kuramayama to fast and meditate. Upon arriving at his destination, he gathered 21 stones, sat down and put the stones in front of him. Every morning he would throw one stone away. On the morning of the 21st day, in the early hours before it was light, Dr. Usui was in deep meditation when he noticed a bright light. He wondered if this light were real. He opened his eyes; it was still there and moved quickly toward him. He was frightened, but willing to risk death for the secrets of healing. The light struck him in the third eye and knocked him unconscious. All of the information, symbols and how to use them began to float by him in millions of brightly colored bubbles, stopping in front of him long enough for him to commit the information to memory. When he came back to full awareness, he remembered everything that was shown to him.

Dr. Usui noticed that he was strong and full of energy, despite his 21 day fast. ‘This is the first miracle’, he thought. Wanting to share this new information with the abbot, he started the long journey back to the temple. On his way down the hill, he severely stubbed his toe, tearing the toe nail back. He grabbed his toe and within a short while, noticed, it was completely healed. ‘This is the second miracle’, he thought.

He continued his journey and soon came upon a house which offered meals to travelers. Noticing his hunger, he decided to stop and break his fast. A man came out to take his order. Dr. Usui ordered a nice meal. When the meal was ready the man`s daughter brought it to him. She was a pretty young girl with a scarf tied like rabbit ears around her head. Dr. Usui asked her why she had such a thing on her head. She told him that she had a very bad toothache and could not travel the long distance to town to have it fixed. He beckoned her to come to him and placed his hands upon her face. After a few moments she said, ‘Oh, kind monk, you make magic. My tooth no longer hurts. Thank you’. ‘This is the third miracle’, he thought.

After Dr. Usui finished his meal and was on the road back to the temple, he noticed how wonderful he was feeling. There were no ill effects of eating a large meal after an extended fast. ‘This is the fourth miracle`, he thought.

When he arrived at the temple, he was greeted by a young monk. The boy told Dr. Usui that he was glad to see that he had returned safely and that the old abbot was bed ridden in great pain. Dr. Usui went directly to the abbot`s cell and sat down on the edge of the bed. He rested his hands on the abbot`s body while he told him all that he had learned. In a short while, the abbot looked at him in surprise and said, ‘You make magic; all of my pain is gone’. ‘This is the fifth miracle’, Dr. Usui proclaimed.

They were both ecstatic about this discovery and wanted to use it for the most needy cause. So together they decided to pray and meditate to find the answer. Dr. Usui went back to his cell and spent the entire night in meditation. The next morning, back in the abbot`s cell, they both agreed that those who needed Reiki the most were in the beggar`s village.

Dr. Usui, wearing old clothes and pushing a vegetable cart, set out for the beggar`s village. Very soon, three beggars approached him, asking what he was doing there. He asked to be taken to see the beggar King, as he had a gift for him. They complied very hesitantly, not wanting to anger the beggar king.

When he approached, the Beggar King wanted to know about this gift and slyly asked what he wanted. Dr. Usui told him the gift was healing and he wanted to give it to everyone in the beggar village. He asked only for food each day. The King agreed to this, but first took Dr. Usui`s clothes, cart and money belt. They gave him tattered, foul-smelling rags to wear and a few scraps of food to eat.

Every day from dawn to dusk, Dr. Usui would work in the beggar village healing people and sent them to the temple for a new name and a job.

After seven years, his work was nearly complete, so he had leisure time in the evenings. One evening, he was walking and began to notice some faces that looked familiar. He walked up to one young man and asked him if he had healed him many years ago. The young man said ‘Yes’. Dr. Usui asked him if he had gone to the temple for a new name and job. The young man again said ‘Yes’. ‘Why then’, asked Dr. Usui, ‘are you back in the beggar village’. The young man told him how he had worked long hours for little money and his family was still hungry; that it was much easier to be a beggar. Dr. Usui was so distraught, he threw himself down in the dirt and wept. He vowed never again to give this gift away; giving Reiki away makes beggars of people. So he developed these principles/precepts to live by, that if applied with Reiki, would heal body, mind, and spirit.

The original principles written by Dr. Usui, in Japanese Kanji (right to left), is translated as follows:

• The secret method of inviting blessings.
• The spiritual medicine of all diseases.
• For today only, do not anger, do not worry.
• Do your work with appreciation.
• Be kind to all people.
• Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
• Think these words with your mind and chant them with your mouth.
• Usui Reiki to change the body and mind.
The founder, Usui Mikao


The next morning, Dr. Usui got a very large torch, lit it and stood on the corner of a busy part of town. People would walk by and laugh at him. Some would stop and ask him what he was doing with a lighted torch in broad daylight. He gladly told them that he was looking for people who were healthy, happy and had enlightened hearts, that wanted to help those who were depressed or in physical pain. He would show them how to put light into their hearts, at a lecture, that he was giving. Many came to his lecture and very soon he had a great following of people.

As Dr. Usui graveled around the country teaching Reiki, he would take on especially dedicated individuals to be his disciples. One of these individuals was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi (born 1878), a retired naval officer. In 1925, Dr. Hayashi became one of the eighteen people Dr. Usui initiated into mastership.

In 1926, just before his death, Dr. Usui charged Dr. Hayashi with the task of keeping Reiki alive. Dr. Hayashi opened the first Reiki clinic shortly after Dr. Usui`s death. He developed a specific series of medical based hand placements, and three levels or degrees of Reiki.

Story Of Mrs. Takata
Version Written by Adonea:
On Christmas Eve 1900, a girl child was born on the island of Kauai, she was named Hawayo after her birth place, the Hawaiian islands. Her parents, the Kawamura`s, were Japanese sugar cane workers and immigrants.

Hawayo grew quickly, as children do, and soon was old enough for a summer job. She worked in the cane fields with the other children, but was so tiny that she couldn`t keep up with the job requirements. With the help of the other children, she was able to do the job for a full summer. When August came and the job was over, she asked God that she never come back to the cane fields again. She wanted to do better things with her hands.

Her wish came true. The next year, she was offered a position – substitute teaching first grade at a boarding school. She would have room, board and be able to continue her education. Her father gave his blessings.

Soon, a new store opened in a near town. She went to the opening and met the man who owned the store. He was so impressed with her that he offered her a job on the weekends. She took the job and began working at the soda fountain.

The beautiful young daughter of a plantation owner came into the store often. Hawayo would always smile at her and bow very low. One day, the lady asked Hawayo if she would like to come to work for her in her home. She offered her room, board, and twice the salary. Such a good offer Hawayo could not refuse. She began working as a waitress/pantry girl; worked her way up to Head of Housekeeping, staying with this family for about 25 years.

There was a young man named Saichi Takata who was an accountant for the plantation. Saichi and Hawayo developed a deep bond and were married in March of 1917. They were very happy together and soon had two little girls. But Saichi became very ill and went to a clinic in Tokyo for treatment. In 1930, at the age of 34, Saichi died.

The next several years were very hard for Mrs. Takata. She really pushed herself to cover her grief and worked long hours to make ends meet for her family. This eventually took its toll on her health. She had severe abdominal pain and could not stand upright. Something had to change.

During this time, Mrs. Takata`s parents decided to go to Japan for a year`s vacation. While they were in Japan, Hawayo`s sister died. She knew that she had to break the news to her parents in person. She also needed an operation, and the only doctor she trusted was in Japan. So she booked passage to Japan.

When she checked into the Japanese clinic, she was told she needed rest, relaxation and lots of good food. For three weeks she felt like she was in a resort hotel. She gained weight and her strength returned.

It came time for the operation. When she was prepped for surgery and laying on the table, she suddenly heard a voice say ‘Operation not necessary’. She looked around and didn`t see anyone, but clearly heard the voice say again, ‘Operation not necessary’. When she heard the voice the third time, she asked ‘But what other way is there?’ The voice said ‘Ask doctor’. So she pulled out the IV needles and proceeded to search for the doctor. When she found him, she asked if there was any alternative to surgery. He told her about Dr. Hayashi`s Reiki clinic.

The doctor`s sister knew first hand that Reiki was effective, so she was appointed to take Mrs. Takata to Dr. Hayashi`s clinic. Mrs. Takata received a treatment that day. She wondered how the hands of the practitioners got so hot. The next day, during her treatment, she looked all around the room for wires. Then she reached up and grabbed the sleeve of the practitioner that was working on her stomach. He was startled, asking what she wanted. She wanted to see the battery that made his hands so hot. He laughed and said ‘No battery; it is Reiki; very powerful’. When Dr. Hayashi came over to hear what was so funny, he joined in the laughter.

Three weeks of daily treatments and she was much better. In four months, she was completely cured. Mrs. Takata wanted Reiki to preserve her health. When she approached Dr. Hayashi about learning it, he refused her, say it was a closely guarded Japanese treasure. This was just not good enough; she must have Reiki.

Mrs. Takata went to her doctor and asked him if there was anything he could do. She told him why she needed Reiki and that she could not remain in Japan forever. He agreed to help her by writing a letter to Dr. Hayashi.

Dr. Hayashi was very impressed that an important surgeon would write such a nice letter for this little lady. He agreed to let Mrs. Takata take Reiki. After her classes and initiation into first degree, Mrs. Takata worked for a year. She spent mornings doing treatments at the clinic and afternoons at the homes of many different people.

In 1937, Mrs. Takata went back to Hawaii. A few weeks later Dr. Hayashi and his daughter came to visit to help her start a Reiki clinic. For almost a year, Mrs. Takata and Dr. Hayashi offered classes, free lectures and demonstrations of Reiki.

In February 1938, just before he left for Japan, Dr. Hayashi announced that Mrs. Takata was now a Reiki Master. Mrs. Takata worked for many years on Kauai, and in a clinic on the big island (Hawaii) and finally moved to Honolulu on Oahu.


In 1941, Mrs. Takata received a telegraph from Dr. Hayashi requesting her to come immediately to his estate in Japan. When she arrived, Dr. and Mrs. Hayashi gave her a warm greeting and then Dr. Hayashi asked her if she would call everyone together and prepare for his death. She did this gladly. On a morning in May 1941, in front of a small gathering of his friends and associates, Dr. Hayashi announced that Mrs. Takata was now given the responsibility of keeping Reiki alive. War was about to break out and he knew he would be called to serve. He was a man of peace and could not destroy life, so he made his transition by bursting his aorta.

Mrs. Takata made the long trip back to Hawaii. In the years following, she traveled extensively, teaching classes in first and second degree Reiki. It was not until the 1970`s that she began to initiate masters. She initiated a total of twenty-two people into Reiki mastership and in December of 1980, she made her transition. Before Mrs. Takata died, she taught her grand daughter all that she knew, preparing her to assume the task of keeping Reiki alive, but she never formally made the announcement.

Story Of Reiki As Told in Raku Kei
Reiki is described as coming from the word Raku Kei. Raku is the vertical energy flow and Kei is the horizontal energy flow through the body. Raku Kei is the art and science of Spiritual self improvement based upon teachings from ancient Tibet. Originally, the Reiki calligraphy was utilized as part of a system of meditation utilized by the Tibetan Lamas. The participants would sit on a four legged wooden stool in the center of an oval earthenware container (representing Akasa or the etheric egg) filled with water. The stool was inlaid with silver and contained a cubical inlayed symbol upon the seat. One wall of the Temple was covered with highly polished copper; the Lama`s prayer and the calligraphy of the Reiki symbols were reflected into it. The participant, sitting on the stool would stare at the wall, allowing the full meaning of the symbols to implant within higher subconscious mind while purifying the body, mind and spirit. Because of the esoteric nature of this practice, it eventually disappeared.

A man named Dr. Mikao Usui rediscovered in ancient Sanskrit text, the symbols used as a catalyst for this meditation technique. In the beginning the Reiki Calligraphy were only used for self development through meditation and spiritual purification. The system of Reiki has undergone many changes to better appeal to the western mind. The original system of meditation required many, many days of intense concentration and memorization, coupled with exercises and postures.

Dr. Usui, as described in the story of Reiki told by Mrs. Takata, went up on a mountain where he fasted and meditated for 21 days. A vision came to him and he experienced the Calligraphy in a higher spiritual vibration, and they implanted his subconscious mind with their meaning and purpose. It was after this experience that he started to teach and work with the sick in body, mind and spirit.

In the year 1915 Rolf Jensen, an orderly to a medical doctor in the US Army went to Japan to study with Japanese medical doctors. While in Japan, Rolf heard of Dr. Usui`s work and began to search for all he could find about the remarkable system called Reiki. Rolf returned to the US knowing his search was not complete; he found some information, but felt he was missing the Master Key the Tibetan holy men used in the Initiation. Finally, in 1952 he found what he thought was the missing Key: a symbol to override all disease. He worked on many formulas to make it work. Finally, he found his answer in a mixture of `Silver Nitrate`, the combined frequencies of the 7 primary colors, and the 7 notes of the musical scale; when combined they formed the 7 atomic seals that have been found all throughout the earth. (Image left is the Master Frequency Symbol (also called the Antahkarana Symbol)

Shortly after his discovery of the Master Symbol Frequency, he created several Reiki Healing tables. It is said that Mrs. Takata had one of these tables and used it for her attunements. Apparently Mrs. Takata only told Iris Ishikuro, one of her students of this table. Arthur Robertson founder of the American Reiki Master Association studied with Iris and he learned about the tables. After a long search, he found one of the tables in a tiny church in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. Arthur took the table to Iris in the summer of 1985. Tables and the symbols are now being used by several hundred Japanese and occidental Reiki practitioners throughout the United States.

The Raku Kei system of Reiki is known as ‘The Way of the Fire Dragon’. It is claimed to be the same system that Takata taught with the addition of the Master Frequency generators (originally created by Rolf Jensen) and the White Light Calligraphy (said to have been added by Ishikuro). It is claimed to differ in application of attunement and a resulting heightened consciousness. The image to the right is called the White Light Calligraphy in Raku Kei and Jorei Reiki systems. It is not a Reiki Symbol, it comes from the religion Johrei and is the Calligraphic name of their primary God.

History of Tera-Mai Reiki
The history of Reiki as passed down by Hawayo Takata is essentially same history taught by Kathleen Milner (see her book ‘Reiki and Other Rays of Touch Healing’), however Kathleen adds quite a bit of additional information from other sources. The major differences come in Second Degree and above; Kathleen teaches traditional reiki symbols, nontraditional symbols and Tibetan Symbols, and is continuously giving more symbols to the people she makes Reiki Masters. Some of these symbols have been retrieved intuitively by Kathleen and/or her students.

Where did 3 of the non-traditional symbols come from? Kathleen says that she never felt that the Reiki system was complete; so, she started asking Mother/Father/God for the truth. She claims that during a meditation, a Great Being appeared to Marcy Miller (one of her students), and gave her another symbol and additions to the attunement. Then the Great Being appeared to Kathleen on the inner planes, reviewed the attunement process and gave her a name for the symbol. Several months later Kathleen and Marcy were given the other symbols with additional instructions. Kathleen was told to tell people she was working with this Great Being. When teaching classes, she gives the new symbols, uses the new attunement method and mentions her experience with the Great Being; she teaches this system under the name Tera-Mai Seichim Reiki.

Kathleen states ‘From my working with the Great Being and my own understanding and experience, Reiki comes from the element earth, and the energy of this ray runs hot and cold just like the surface of our planet. With the addition of the information that the Great Being gave me, the color of the attunement and energy that flows from healer`s hands turned from purple to gold’. She also offers other healing systems which attune people to other levels of energy, which she claims brings a more complete healing.

We have found the energy of several of the symbols to be very Earthy as stated by Kathleen. In fact, some of our students who were attuned to these symbols said that the experience (during the attunement) was almost Shamanic in nature. The other symbols feel otherworldly; very high in vibration. We have found the symbols to be both powerful and valuable in our work with some clients. Each of the symbols has its own intelligence. Feel each of them and allow them to communicate their specific energy and usage to you. Do the attunements seem more powerful for some people? Do they strongly address the physical level? Is working with these energies more comfortable or familiar to some people? These questions are posed as food for thought.

Story Told in Seichem Branch

A Spiritual Revolution:
Centuries ago, southern India was the location of gathering places for scholars and healers. One ancient system of healing wisdom, translated from Egyptian hieroglyphics into Sanskrit was called Seichim (pronounced Say Keym) ‘Living Light Energy’. When barbaric tribes invaded the civilized south, those who were able, fled to Tibet, China, Japan, Polynesia and parts unknown. It was at this time the knowledge of Seichim was dispersed. That is why today, there seem to be several different lineage called by different names, yet seemingly so similar in content. Each system has its unique attributes and all work well in conjunction with one another. There seems to be no such thing as too much ‘Living Light Energy’.

In those long ago times, it took many years of devotion and great personal sacrifice to learn these various healing systems. Most have been traditionally hierarchical for excellent reasons, such as keeping information intact and viable and guarding against misunderstanding, misuse and misinformation. Today the average person is considerably more educated than even the rulers of centuries past. We live in a time, when more than information is necessary to create peaceful lives and a world without hunger or war. Now, a re-establishment of each individual`s inherent right to control his or her life is required. Now teachers, who assist each individual to become ever more independent and empowered, are valuable. Repressive systems, requiring elaborate and endless financial and personal sacrifice is no longer meaningful. Systems which require supplicants and promote dependent personality development are dissolving, as individuals become aware of other choices. Spirit cannot be captured or controlled by human beings; it transforms us by its energy. As we experience its healing, we can unlock deeper levels of understanding of the world around us.

Seichim—What it is and How it Works:
Everyone is born with a personal ‘energy envelope’ of living light energy. It`s what we use to power our bodies, heal broken bones and fight infections. It is this personal energy system that can be stimulated by acupuncture, sound therapy, color therapy, homeopathy, chiropractic and many other techniques, to keep us alive and well. Some of us are born with just enough of an ‘envelope’ to keep us functional. Some of us are born with much larger ‘envelopes’. These are people you may know, who just with touch, can calm a child or ease fevers and headaches. Then there are those who are born with huge ‘energy envelopes’ like Olga Worrall who has used her energy to heal many people. Often, after helping to heal so many people this type of healer is drained and needs time to regenerate. Sometimes healers, in using their own energy, can develop symptoms similar to the symptoms of those healed. This kind of energy transference is a gift and often a great sacrifice of self in service.

Outside the energy in our personal ‘envelopes’, there is a vast limitless ‘sea’ of living light energy. This is a balanced, resonating, harmonizing healing energy available to everyone. It is already integrated. It has no positive or negative charge. It has no yin or yang to consider; it`s whole and complete, ready to be utilized.

Several healing methods have surfaced, that access this ‘sea’ of energy. The religious ways require a belief system like prayer, which many times is combined with the laying-on-of-hands’. Other techniques build mental constructs which connect the healer with the energy. Through practice, concentration and with training by high quality teachers like Brugh Joy, people can become channels for healing energy.

`Seichim` is the Western pronunciation for the Sanskrit character meaning `living light energy` and is used to designate both the energy itself and the healing system using this energy. Using ancient wisdom, the Seichim initiation empowers the initiate, regardless of belief systems, to use living light energy as a personal tool for growth and transformation. The active use of Seichim promotes healing and balancing of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Acting as simply as a first aid kit, Seichim works on the complexities of acute and chronic diseases, as well as anxiety, fatigue, depression, frustration and other symptoms produced by stress.

Living light energy addresses the more subtle aspects of cause, releasing even the deeply held thought forms in the etheric body which create the symptoms of blockages in our physical form. In the physical body every molecule and cell is affected in a cleansing, balancing, healing manner by consistent use of Seichim. Seichim is a powerful, compact, effective system for becoming permanently and experientially connected with living light energy.

Seichim Facets—Expanding the Spectrum of Choice:
The ancient masters of Seichim revealed the existence of seven (7) facets. At this time Seichim Master/Teachers are empowered to teach five (5) of these facets. Each facet is unique and complete within itself. Some of the facets build on information from other facets which necessitate a numerical linear designation for each. Anyone becoming an initiate of first facet Seichim has complete, permanent empowerment of the unique attributes of that facet. No other course of action is necessary or required. No further education or involvement with any organization is required. Each facet is similar, in its unique completeness.

Some people may wonder why there are different facets; why not just do one big empowerment and get it all? Each initiation triggers healing, cleansing and balancing in the initiate. This is a powerful energy and requires time to adjust to being transformed, before moving into an even more powerful stream of living light energy. Second Facet through Fifth Facet all require cognitive learning. It takes time to memorize the material and integrate the techniques into an individual`s daily life. Once initiated, a practitioner`s life starts moving quickly. It contains new experiences and opportunities, to share and enjoy in each of its unique aspects. In a way, rushing through all the facets compared to enjoying each one to its fullest and then moving to the next, is like the difference between sailing a cruise ship or flying a 747 jet. Cruising allows the traveler to fully experience the countries and people along the way. Likewise, learning and moving at an even pace allows each initiate to fully explore each facet before moving to the next, if that is the intention.

Story Told in Sun Li Chung Reiki
Sun Li Chung Reiki is the healing art of the art of war – an ancient Chinese healing technique.

Reiki is a healing technique that originated at the southern part of Tibet. It first became famous in the Inca temples in South America 12,000 years ago, and from there it came to Egypt 9,000 years ago. The reiki techniques came to us from God. In each era in history, we got different symbols that are correct for that era, and that era`s diseases.

Sun Li Chung Reiki is a system that was common in the Shaulin temples of South Tibet. Sun Li Chung was a holistic Buddhist doctor that developed the system. The basic knowledge he got from is father, and most of it came through channeling with God. Sun Li Chung was born in 1917 BC. The system was lost when he was killed by Mongolian rioters that came to south Tibet when he was 103. Few of his family survived, but none of them knew all the parts of the reiki system.

All classical writings that were found, and Sanskrit writings had only a tiny portion of the knowledge that was knows then, as most of it was burned and lost on that day. The methods that were known in Ancient China were Saichem, Karuna, Yod, Manchurian, Tibetan, Mongolian, Malawian, Tatarian, Alawian, Kokonian, Indian and more. The basis of all systems is the same, as the first symbols are in fact the same. Including the symbols of the Kabala, the pharaohs, flower of life, Lemuria, Atlantis and the Islam. In all systems the symbols appear in 16 or more dimensions (levels): earthly, etheric, astral, universal, cosmic, the upper brotherhood of light, the lower brotherhood of light, upper worlds, lower worlds, the upper spiral of angels, the lower spiral of angels, the council of nine, the Paledians, the Pranlians, the upper crystal council, the lower crystal council.

There are more dimensions and all systems within them have 62 to 72 symbols. Today, Sun Li Chung Reiki has all the systems and all the symbols in all the dimensions.

The History of Reiki: A Different ViewPoint
(Sources: ‘Iyashi No Te’ by Reiki Master Toshitaka Mochizuki; Also Traditional Japanese Reiki Masters Dave King and Melissa Riggall)
There are many interesting versions of the history of modern day Reiki, from it`s discovery (or rediscovery as some believe) to it`s current state of confusion. Shedding a different light on the origins of Reiki is the first modern book written in Japanese, by a Japanese Reiki teacher. The book is called ‘Iyashi No Te’ (Heal of Hand, or Healing Hands) and is authored by Toshitaka Mochizuki, and was published in October, 1995. Although Mochizuki originally learned Reiki from Western sources, he has since teamed up with several Reiki teachers in Japan whose training history is partly Japanese.

Mochizuki attributes some of his historical information to an old Japanese book whose title translates to ‘The Secret of How to Take Care of Your Family Members’ by Takichi Tsukida. I do not know if this book is in print, and there are many things about Reiki that the Japanese would prefer to keep to themselves for the time being (I can`t say as I blame them seeing how much Reiki has been altered). Some of these things I have learned and will honor for now. Others seem to be out in plain view in Japan, for all to see, anyway.

One version of the history of Eric indicates that the founder, Macao Usui, taught Reiki to at least 17 people. One of these was another healer at the time by the name of Toshihiro Eguchi. Eguchi studied with Usui (1925) before Usui`s death in 1926. Through his students one form of Reiki has continued on in Japan (We now know there are other lineage). Eguchi reportedly taught thousands of students before the war, including Goro Miyazaki. Miyazaki taught a person by the name of Mieko Mitsui, who is around 60 years old today. According to ‘Iyashi No Te’, Mitsui assisted Barbara Ray in translating her book ‘The Reiki Factor’ into Japanese, which Mochizuki admits to reading.

One of Mitsui`s current students is a Reiki teacher named Takahashi (I don`t know his first name, but I now know another of her students was Mr. Hiroshi Doi.) Takahashi and the author, Mochizuki, are part of a group of 10 Japanese Reiki masters who come together to teach monthly Reiki classes. When I talk about the Japanese Reiki masters, it is this group that I am referring to . There are usually about 40 students, with a 4 to 1 master to student ratio. Taught in a classroom setting, Reiki levels one and two are presented over a weekend for a fee of about 60,000 yen. Level three and the teacher or master levels cost 90,000 yen and 150,000 yen respectively (still cheaper than $10,0000).

According to the history in the book, Usui, born in 1865, made his discovery (assumedly sometime around 1914) and then spent the next seven years working in the lower class district of Kyoto. Kyoto is a religious center and a former capital city, and apparently in most Japanese towns and cities, people on the street are taken in and cared for, and each family looks out for it`s own. So the story about Usui working with the beggars may have been stretched a bit, or just misunderstood in the West.

Although Takata said Usui was a Christian monk, the Japanese claim that he was a member of a spiritualist group named ‘Rei Jyutsu Ka’. This group had a center at the base of the holy mountain, Kurama Yama, just west of Kyoto. They have since left this site and another group occupies it now. Yama translates to mountain, and Kurama translates to horse saddle. There are several shrines on the mountain, including one at the top and one near the bottom. One shrine at the bottom is a very large statue of the Amida Buddha with it`s base placed well below ground level. Steps lead down to the base where one can sit and meditate. This may have been one of Usui`s meditation sites, although there can be a lot of people visiting there.

In the city of Kyoto, there is also a well know library with religious and theological works from around the world. The Japanese do not think Usui would have needed to travel far to do his research. In 1921 Usui went to Tokyo and set up his school. The Japanese believe that when Usui taught you, you would have just lived with him till you got it all; therefore you became a teacher yourself. They feel that he may not have required a process or ritual (like an attunement) to pass on the Reiki energy. (In the ‘Awakening Your Light Body’ process taught by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer, the student learns to work with energy center and duplicate their vibration by listening and emulating frequencies presented by Duane`s guide, DaBen. So the concept of Usui and members of his Spiritualist Group not requiring attunements to pass on Reiki may be valid.) However, Usui did teach lay people.

In 1925, a retired naval officer (and doctor) by the name of Chujiro Hayashi (at the age of 47), took the training from Usui. It may have been this act of creating teachers outside his movement that caused Usui (and Hayashi) to develop an attunement process. A Canadian Reiki teacher named Dave King spent some time with one of Hayashi`s surviving masters, Tatsumi, in April, 1996. He was allowed to trace copies of the four Reiki symbols in Hayashi`s handwriting, and he also learned Tatsumi`s attunement process. This process is shorter than the one currently used by the Japanese group. Dave was also invited to spend time with the Japanese group of masters during his stay in Japan. Usui taught a couple of other naval officers by the name of Juzaburo Giuda (also pronounced Ushida) and Kan`ichi Taketomi.

From the original Hayashi training and the current Japanese group, it is taught that the original hand positions he taught (presumably from Chinese medicine) stopped at the midsection of the body. The additional hand positions were added by Hayashi to accommodate the two practitioners-to-a-client style that he used in his eight bed clinic. Initially, Usui may have only laid hands on wherever the person had pain. Since the Japanese had rediscovered and were using the ancient art of Chinese acupuncture (and acupressure), the hand positions seem to evolve around the body`s energy channels and pressure points.

The Japanese do not name the Reiki symbols the way we do. They call them symbol number one, symbol number two, symbol number three and symbol number four. The names are actually the mantra you chant and the symbol is the yantra you draw and visualize to focus on the specific energy you are working. The 3rd symbol, known as the connection or distant symbol, is actually Kanji and if you look up the words in a Japanese dictionary you will find it`s original form. Just overlay each of the parts to get it`s final form. The same can be said for the number four symbol. Of course, in the Japanese language, everything seems to be context oriented; so there are many version of the word ‘Rei’ and ‘Ki’. You won`t find the number one or number two symbols there. But the number two symbol comes from a symbol in Japanese Buddhism, and the number one may have as well.

In the summer of 1996, Melissa Riggall visited Tatsumi, and was able to learn that Usui taught five Buddhist nuns the method as well as the three naval officers and nine male associates. She also learned Usui was sent to a Tendai monastery at age 4 where he remained for several years. He apparently used to meditate in the Kurama Yama power spots regularly. He also studied Qigong (called ki-ko in Japan) to a very high level while a monk and did Qigong projection healing. Tatsumi thought that he was the last of Hayashi`s students that were given the complete system as sensei. He never created teachers of his own and only shared sensei information with Melissa and Dave King. Some of his grandchildren were attuned as practitioners (all 4 symbols). He had heard of Mochizuki but had never communicated with him. Tatsumi-san showed Melissa a stack of notes that Hayashi had left with him, and that he had made as part of his learning.

These will not be taken out of Japan and were to be deposited in a shrine on Tatsumi-san`s death. On October 3/96, Melissa sent me an e-mail to inform me that Tatsumi-san had recently passed away. We are fortunate that at least 2 western Reiki Masters were able to meet with him and learn some of his knowledge of the origins of Reiki. Since this time, Melissa has done extensive investigation into the notes and the sources they lead to.

This knowledge is presumably available at some point to the students of Traditional Japanese Reiki school

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