History of Reiki

Mikao Usui

The founder of Reiki is Mikao Usui. He was born on August 15, 1865, in Taniai, a village in the district of Gifu prefecture. Most of the information written about him is on the memorial stone erected by his students in 1927. The authors of the Usui Memorial are Juzaburo Ushida and Masayuki Okada.

A summary of his biography:

  • He was married and had a son and daughter.
  • His interests included medicine, psychology, fortune-telling, and religion.
  • He had many changes in his career. At a certain point, he encountered obstacles.
  • One day, he embarked on a 21-day retreat to fast and meditate on Mount Kurama near Kyoto.
  • During this time, he experienced a sense of inner awakening, or great Reiki sensation above his head, which led to the development of the Reiki spiritual healing method.
  • Usui tried Reiki on himself and his family and found it helped heal ailments.
  • In April 1922, he opened a clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo.
  • Usui later created the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, an organization of Reiki practitioners, to provide Reiki treatments. 
  • He passed away in 1926.
  • He encouraged his student, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, to continue the practice of Reiki.

Dr. Chujiro Hayashi

Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was born in Tokyo on September 15, 1880. He was a medical doctor and a Japanese Navy officer. He developed Reiki techniques utilizing his knowledge of medicine and further developed hands-on healing techniques. Later, he opened a school and clinic. In time, he trained a Japanese American woman named Hawayo Takata, awarding her a certificate in Reiki Mastership. He helped her start a Reiki practice in Hawaii.

Hawayo Takata

Hawayo Takata was born on December 24, 1900, in Hawaii. She discovered Dr. Hayashi’s clinic while visiting her family in Japan. During her visit, she became ill and received treatment at Dr. Hayashi’s Reiki clinic to avoid surgery. The Reiki treatments provided healing for her illness. She subsequently convinced Dr. Hayashi to train her in Reiki. After receiving her Reiki Master training from Dr. Hayashi, she established a Reiki practice in Hawaii. Hawayo Takata trained 22 Reiki masters before she passed away in 1980. She and Dr. Hayashi had a significant impact on the practice of Reiki in the West.

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