Reiki Room ~ Healing Arts Studio


Reiki History

Reiki began with one thought, grew with one voice, then manifested with the actions of one man, named Mikao Usui.  A Japanese man living at the turn of the 20th century, his history is still unfolding to the Reiki community through continued research.  It is with patience and perseverance that we follow this gentle soul who discovered a precious gift to empower humankind with health.

Mr. Usui was born on August 15, 1865 in Yago, Japan and died of a stroke in Fukuyama Japan on March 9, 1926. He was married to Sadako Suzuki, the mother of his son and daughter. He has been described as intelligent, shy, spiritual and concerned with humanity. He was a lifelong Buddhist and a successful businessman. Traditional Reiki history shares with us that sometime between 1914 and 1920 Dr. Usui experienced a profound enlightenment while meditating during a 21-day fasting retreat on Mount Kurama in Japan. He received the healing ability he called Reiki, along with the knowledge and ability to impart that to others.

Since the 1940's, Reiki's rich oral history first intrigued and mystified us. By following natural curiosity with research, the story has been transformed into a more factual written format. With the discovery of Usui's Memorial and the Reiki Ryoho Hikkei (healing method handbook) in Japan, many questions have been answered based on fact and supported by original documentation.

The origination of the Reiki healing ability is a spiritual journey. Mr. Usui received the energetic healing ability while meditating at an ancient Buddhist/Shinto shrine during satori (enlightenment). As indicated by Lubeck, Petter and Rand (2001), Usui states in his handbook that "Our Reiki Ryoho is something absolutely original and cannot be compared with any other [spiritual] path in the world" and "[It is] an original therapy, which is built upon the spiritual power of the universe". Reiki shares similarities in content and philosophy with Chinese healing Qigong (energy development and management), Mikkyo Buddhism (symbol use), and Japanese Shintoism (spiritual philosophy). The striking dissimilarity with Qigong is the ability to learn and practice Reiki after one short class, as opposed to a lifetime of study. That is also it's most precious gift.

It is well documented that Usui opened a Reiki practice in Harajuku, Tokyo in 1921 (Petter, 1999) and was the founder of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Society). According to his Memorial, Usui trained more than 2000 students. Of them, sixteen were initiated as Reiki Master/Teachers, including Mr. Chujiro Hayashi. It is through this gentleman that the lineage of Reiki has progressed. Mr. Hayashi separated from Dr. Usui to start his own practice and began teaching students. It is here that Mrs. Hawayo Takata, of Hawaii, discovered Reiki at Mr. Hayashi's Clinic. After being healed of a serious illness, she became a student of Mr. Hayashi and achieved her Shinpiden (Master/Teacher) level in 1938 - one of 13 Reiki Master/Teachers trained by Mr. Hayashi. It is with our deepest gratitude that we thank Mrs. Takata for bringing Reiki to the United States, to teach and pass along the healing abilities.

Mrs. Takata (1900 - 1980) studied with Mr. Hayashi in Japan, then returned to
Hawaii to establish Reiki Healing Clinics and herself as a Reiki Master/Teacher. She is credited as originating the "Western Lineage of Reiki ".She taught in the Islands and also on the Mainland. During WWII she kept the Reiki community alive and growing, as it was difficult for those living in Japan to do. It has recently come to light that she may have taken liberties with the oral history and treatment hand positions, but none the less, her tenacity kept Reiki moving in a forward direction. She initiated 22 Reiki Master/Teachers from 1970 to her passing in 1980. Western Reiki training is very standardized, with basic hand positions taught in a limited time frame, usually during a one or two-day class. All the hand positions are generally used for each healing session. In our fast paced western world, the training methodology fits our needs.

The Japanese Reiki line is active today still under the auspices of the Usui Reiki Rhoyo Gakkai, however it is a closed society meant for Japanese practitioners by invitation only. There are other independent Reiki lines apart from the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in Japan, similar to the many lines that have evolved in the United States and abroad. This is a natural outgrowth of individual teaching techniques and also individual learning environments based on cultural background.

Traditional Japanese or Eastern Reiki is ususally taught over a lengthy period of time, with the student meeting with the Master/Teacher on a daily basis. The training technique is more intuitive in nature as the student is taught to selectively seek out the individual ailment and treat it accordingly. Both teaching methods have the same outcome - the student receives the ability to perform Reiki energy therapy. In Japan, both teaching methods are now available. Worldwide, the Western methodology is most evident.

Komyo Reiki is a traditional training following the Usui-Hayashi Style. It proceeds from Usui to Hayashi to Mrs. Yamaguchi to Inamoto Hyakuten, the founder of Komyo Reiki. This style is spiritual in nature, simple in training, based in the understanding of enlightenment is meant to apply to all people. Inamoto, Sensei is a Japanese Buddist Monk who has a forty year Reiki practice. He trained under Mrs. Yamaguchi in Japan for many years. He developed his Komyo Reiki Style to provide a more spiritual and authentic training for people world wide. He has provided training for many well known Reiki Teachers, including Sue Vazal, Shihan of the Reiki Room!

Fast forward to 2007 ~ Reiki therapy is now accepted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine - under the United States National Institutes of Health. as Energy Medicine Therapy. It is widely supported in hospitals for pre and post operative use, and is especially helpful in pain reduction and stress relief. It is available internationally at Health Resorts and Medical Spas, and is offered as a therapy for relief of the side-effects of cancer treatment.  In less than 80 years, Reiki has emerged from Japan to become a standard holistic therapy worldwide. 

We would like to acknowledge Frank Arjava Petter, and his wife Chetna as spear-heading the quest for accurate Reiki History (although he will say he was just in the right place at the right time). For a more detailed historical background, please read his books "Reiki Fire" and "The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui". Also, Mr. William Rand has spent a lifetime in Reiki research. His recent books "Reiki for a new Millennium" and his excellent teaching handbook, "Reiki the Healing Touch" are among our favorites. A new book compiled by Walter Lubeck - well known German Reiki Master/Teacher, Frank Arjava Petter and William Lee Rand "The Spirit of Reiki" is highly recommended for a full overview of all aspects of Reiki."The Japanese Art of Reiki" by Bronwen and Frans Stiene is another brilliant source of Reiki History in Practice.

Most recently Tadao Yamaguchi has authored a "Handbook for Practicing the Original Reiki of Usui and Hayashi" titled Light on the Origins of Reiki. We highly recommend this book as a wonderful souce of history and training techniques and understanding. Mr Yamaguchi was trained by his Mother through the Hayashi line in Japan and is currently traveling worldwide.

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