The origin of reiki began in Japan and was rediscovered by a man called Mikao Usui. Usui was born in Japan in 1864 and that in 1926. It was said that he was a Christian monk however there is no evidence of this. There is now evidence showing he was influenced by Buddhism and Qigong.
Usui searched for that healing that seemed to be lost. He went to the top of Mount Kurama where he meditated for 21 days while asking for the healing power. On the 21st day he felt heat and energy come into the top of his head seeing a bright white light. He felt this heat, energy and white light gave him what he called enlightenment. It is said that reiki began and was rediscovered in Japan at that point.
Usui began using reiki on himself, his family and friends. In 1921 Usui opened his reiki clinic and in 1923 reiki and Usui became famous after the earthquake. During this time he took his healing practice onto the streets of Japan. Reiki then began to spread and it’s believed he taught reiki to approximately 2000 people.
How Reiki was restructured over the years
One of Usui’s students was Chujiro Hayashi and it’s thought he developed the class structure we use for teaching reiki: the division of reiki onto three levels, first, second and third (master) degrees. Hayashi taught Hawayo Takata reiki to master level during the second World war to ensure the teachings of reiki was not lost. Takata came into contact with reiki when she travelled to Japan to visit her parents. She became ill and needed surgery although her health meant surgery was risky. While waiting for anaesthetic she heard voice telling her she didn’t need surgery. She asked her surgeons if there was any other way to help her and they suggested reiki. She went to Hayashi’s clinic where she received treatment and was consequently better.
Mrs Takata lived in Hawaii and opened her own clinic. She can be given credit for the spread of reiki throughout the world . She was also known to charge $10,000 for teaching the master teacher level.
Mrs Takata taught the master level to 22 students, one of which was her granddaughter Phyllis Furomoto. Phyllis is the grand master of Usui Shiko Ryoho reiki today. After Mrs Takata’s death in 1980, reiki began to branch off into a Japanese and an American branch. Reiki still continues to spread at unbelievable rates.