History of Reiki

In order to provide our students with as accurate a History of Reiki as possible, we have undertaken a great deal of research. We have considered the History of Reiki in context with Japanese culture and (worldwide) historical events. We have evidenced our findings with original documentation from a wide variety of sources. We have not compiled a complete History of Reiki, as we’ve focussed on Reiki’s journey from Mikao Usui in Japan, to us here, today.

A brief History of Reiki: excerpts from our Reiki Level One Course training manual.

The founder of the Reiki Healing System, Mikao Usui, was born in Japan on 15th August 1865. He was a diligent student with many interests: the theology of various religions, history, psychology, medicine, divination, physiognomy and martial arts. As an adult he travelled to and studied in: America, Europe and China. Whilst studying the Buddhist scriptures (suttas) he discovered a formula the Buddha had used. He decided to follow the formula. He went to the sacred Mount Kurama, where he fasted and meditated for 21 days. On the 21st day he experienced a great Reiki over his head and comprehended the Spiritual Healing Method.



Known to his students as Usui Sensei, he opened his first Reiki clinic in 1922. The teachings and tools provided were usually customized to the student, since each student learns differently. It is believed the aim of Usui Sensei’s teachings was to provide a non-religious method for students to achieve enlightenment. All students of Usui Sensei received attunements, practiced the five precepts and received an instruction manual of healing techniques. By 1925 Usui Sensei had become so famous that people arrived at the clinic daily from all over Japan. Usui Sensei travelled to many places in Japan, teaching Reiki to whoever was interested. Whilst on one of these trips to Fukuyama, on 9th March 1926, he died following a stroke. It is believed Usui Sensei taught Reiki to around 2000 people. He gave Master attunements to 16 people.



Dr.Hayashi, a retired naval officer, attuned to Master degree by Usui Sensei, continued to research and develop Reiki practice after Usui Sensei’s death. Dr.Hayashi passed the complete teachings to Mrs.Takata, the daughter of a Japanese immigrant living in Hawaii. Mrs.Takata introduced Reiki to America. The Master’s she attuned introduced Reiki to Europe and from there it has spread around the world.



Mrs.Takata’s granddaughter Phyllis Furumoto established the Reiki Alliance after Mrs.Takata’s death in 1980.



Reiki is constantly evolving, as each Reiki Master adds something of themselves to their practice. Usui Sensei’s original Reiki has undergone many changes in its passage around the globe and there are now several Reiki associations, all claiming their way is the right way. Regardless of differences in practice, we all know and agree that Reiki works.
As is the Buddhist way… look for your own truth, look within.
More information: Reiki Healing System and Reiki Training Courses.