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Legacy Masters

Dr. Mikao Usui

(8/15/1865 - 3/9/1926) 

Dr. Chijiro Hayashi

(9/15/1880 - 5/10/1941)

Mrs. Hawayo Takata

(12/24/1900 - 12/11/1980) 

History of Western Usui Reiki

Reiki has a very unique history. Although the Reiki energy itself goes back over 2500 years, as evidenced in Sanskrit Sutras, and the writings of Tibetan Monks and Enlightened Masters, the history of Reiki at taught today is much more modern. It begins in the early 1900s. Evidence of Reiki from before World War II remained in Japan and has been rediscovered to the rest of the world very recently.


With roots in Japan prior to World War II, it is not surprising that some documentation was lost. Apparently the survivors of Dr. Hayashi lost to the war the resources allowing them to continue the clinic he founded, and many stopped practicing Reiki for fear of persecution for not 'supporting the war'. Others continued to practice and their students are still practicing today.


If it were not for Mrs. Takata learning Reiki and taking it to America, this healing technique would have been lost to the western world. The war brought with it the loss of valuable memories and knowledge that was present in the group who learned from Reiki's originator, Dr. Usui. Mrs. Takata had to modify the story of Reiki right after World War II to make it acceptable to the Christian, western mind. Hopefully, with an open mind, and with practice, study and intuition, we will bring back any lost knowledge.


The history presented here is primarily the story of Reiki according to Mrs. Takata, with some notations about information from one of Dr. Usui's teaching manual included.


Reiki is a Japanese word meaning "Universal Life-Force-Energy". The "Ki" part is the same word as Chi or Qi, the Chinese word for the energy which underlies everything. Reiki is a system for channeling that energy to someone for the purpose of healing. It was discovered by Dr. Usui in the late 1800's. He was born about 1865, and there are two accounts of his discovery of Reiki; one being that he was a Buddhist Monk and after a 28-year quest, he journeyed to Mount Kurama. The other account is that he was a teacher or perhaps dean of a Christian school in Kyoto, Japan.


The Lineage of Western Usui Reiki - The first Grand Masters are: 


Dr. Mikao Usui

Dr. Chijiro Hayashi

Mrs. Hawayo Takata 


Traditional Japanese Reiki

The memorial dedicated to Usui Sensei, the founder of the Reiki healing system is located at the Saihoji Temple in the Suginami district of Tokyo. The memorial was created and is maintained by the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho shortly after Usui Sensei's transition. This is the organization that Usui Sensei started to promote the practice and teaching of Reiki. Officials of the Saihoji Temple verified where the memorial is located.


Many are surprised that the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho still exists because part of the "traditional" story stated that all the members of this group died in the war or had stopped using Reiki and that Mrs. Takata was the only remaining teacher of the Usui system in the world. We now know the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho has always existed and still exists today. They have been teaching and practicing Reiki in Japan all this time. 


The Lineage of Usui Sensei in Japan

The first president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, the organization that Usui Sensei started, was Usui Sensei himself. The second, his successor, was Mr. Ushida. The third was a Mr. Taketomi. The fourth was a Mr. Watanabe. The fifth was a Mr. Wanami, followed by the sixth, a Mrs. Koyama who retired in the beginning of this 1999. The seventh and current president, the real successor of Usui Sensei is a Mr. Kondo.


Past & Present Chairpersons of Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai

It is interesting to note that until 1975, all Chairpersons of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai have military careers.


  • •Mr. Mikao Usui (1865.8.15 - 1926.3.9)


  • •Mr. Juzaburo Ushida (Gyuda) - 1865-1935


  • •Mr. Kan'ichi Taketomi - 1878-1960


  • •Mr. Yoshiharu Watanabe - 18??-1960


  • •Mr. Houichi Wanami - 1883-1975


  • •Mrs. Kimiko Koyama - 1906-1999


  • •Mr. Masayoshi Kondoh - 1999 - 









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