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The History of Reiki page was pieced together through extensive research. It was compiled at the request of many of our Reiki students who were confused by the myriad of conflicting histories and looking for an accurate overview.

The history of the energy healing modality Reiki and it's founder, Dr. Mikao Usui is steeped in mystery and conflicting tales. I have researched the history of Reiki to the best of my ability, and have tried to unravel some of the truth. I've included this information for those students who, like me, wish to know and honor the roots of this powerful healing system.

Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki was born in Yago Japan. He began a spiritual quest and became a Buddhist Monk (some sources do not acknowledge this). After many years spent as a spiritual seeker, he traveled to Mt. Kurama to pray and meditate for spiritual answers. On the twenty-first day of his meditations he received a shaft of white light into his third eye which showed him sacred symbols. He spent the rest of his days traveling and teaching his method of spirituality and hands on healing. He lived from August 15th 1864 to March 9,1926.

The least contested parts of Mikao Usui's life is that he was on a lifelong spiritual quest and that he went to Mt. Kurama to pray and meditate for twenty one days. It was on the twenty first day that he received a spiritual vision of sacred symbols. It came to him as a beam of white light directly to his third eye. After receiving the vision, Mikao Usui discovered he had the gift of hands on healing.

He developed this gift into a system of beliefs and shared them with people all over Japan. Usui taught this system as a spiritual practice, a blend of Buddhism and Shintoism, with a strong emphasis on the five spiritual principles of the Meiji Emperor.

He opened a clinic where he taught his spiritual principles, healed the sick, and passed on the sacred symbols that he had learned.

history of reiki mikao usui founder

Mikao Usui was married and had two children in addition to his clinic. He achieved some fame in Japan for his healing work and became especially well known after an earthquake in Tokyo in 1923 when he and his students healed many victims.

After that time he traveled as a speaker and lecturer to many parts of Japan. He passed away in March of 1926. It is contested whether he left behind any written books or manuals of his teachings. No manuals are available to the general public. His legacy consisted of sixteen people who he'd initiated to master level, the sacred symbols, the clinic, and the over two thousand people he'd taught level one and two hands on healing methods to.

Timelines show that Usui only taught his method of Reiki for about four years before he passed over. During those four years he trained over two thousand people in the healing techniques.

In 1927 his students erected a monument to Mikao Usui in the Saihoji Temple Cemetary in Japan. That monument carries a story of what is most likely the clearest truth of Mikao Usui's life, and the history of Reiki up to the time of his death.

It is after this time that knowledge of Mikao Usui's work gets conflicted with various versions. There were sixteen masters trained by Mikao and it appears that his teachings were regarded in different ways by many of them. Chujiro Hayashi, believed by some to be Usui's named successor opened a clinic and continued the work of Usui. Another student and friend of Usui's named Eguchi continued teaching a method of hands on healing similar to Usui's.

Three or four of his students, Naval Officers, founded an organization in Japan named Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. It is said that he was named in honorarium as president after his death. This organization is still in existence, although membership is by invitation only.

This is where the first branching of the Reiki system occurred. It is unknown if any other students of Usui's continued his teachings, except for Chujjiro Hayashi, Eguchi, and the group Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai.

Reports of some of his other students continuing to practice his teachings have been found, but the other students do not appear to have formally passed on the teachings.


1)The Japanese Reiki Society called Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (started by three to four of Usui's master students)

2) Chujiro Hayashi. One Reiki master student of Usui's. Some claim he was Usui's successor and continued Usui's clinic. Others claim there was no successor, and that Chujiro started a new clinic. Others say he was involved with the Japanese Reiki Society and had a split with them several years later.

3) Eguchi. One Reiki Master student of Usui's who appears to have taught on a small scale. I couldn't recover much information and did not find any signs of continued teachings.

4) UNKOWN. Usui trained sixteen masters. It is possible that several other Reiki masters taught their own style, but there is no known information that any of those teaching styles have continued to this day.

Out of these three branches, Chujiro Hayashi was very active. He operated a clinic for many years and taught Reiki to many. He created sixteen Reiki masters in his time. It is said by some that Chujiro changed many aspects of Usui's original teachings and methods at this time, taking some of the focus away from the spiritual teachings.

After Chujiro's death in 1941 at least four of the sixteen Reiki masters carried his teachings forward. In the meantime , the Japanese group Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai continued with their teachings as well. Eguchi created his own version of the hands on healing techniques and not much else is heard after that about him. After Chujiro Hayashi's death Reiki branched even further.



Research shows that Eguchi continued a form of hands on healing based on Mikao Usui's, but it appears to have disappeared from records. It is not beleived that there are any active practitioners of the Eguchi branch.


The Japanese Reiki Society called Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai continued with limited membership. No teachings outside of the organization were allowed.


The Chujiro Hayashi Branch was the most active. The existing continued lineages through Hayashi include his wife, Chie Hayashi, and students Takeuchi, Hawayo Takata, and Chiyoko Yamaguchi. There were twelve other Reiki Masters that Chujiro initiated. It is unknown if they continued teaching, but to date no records have been unearthed of their work.

Mrs. Chie Hayashi: Chujiro's wife and Reiki Master continued the clinic and the teachings.

Takeuchi: Chujiro's student, a Zen monk and Reiki Master who continued the teachings.

Mrs. Hawayo Takata: Chujiro's student, a Japanese woman, Reiki Master from Hawaii who continued the teachings under the title Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki.

Ms. Chiyoko Yamaguchi: Chujiro's student and a Reiki Master who continued the teachings under the title Jikiden Reiki.


The two branches still in existence are the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and the lineage of Chujiro Hayashi. Below is a more detailed list of their continued lineage.


The society continues to operate with approximately five hundred members. Not much is known about them, and accounts show they are not interested in speaking with the world Reiki community. They have forbidden the teachings to be passed out of the society and have created only six Reiki Masters in their time.

Hiroshi Doi is a member of the society who was given a second degree initiation. Since that time he has started teaching Gendai Reikiho. He says it incorporates some of the teachings he was given from the society as well as other teachings. Hiroshi Doi studied many different forms of healing and does not hold his form out as a direct replica of what he learned from the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai group. His website is:

Hiroshi Doi is the only member of the society to offer teachings to the general public. It is unknown why the society is not interested in sharing Usui's work, as Usui himself did. Hopefully, in time more information about the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai will surface.


The history of Reiki for many years was largely produced by this line of Reiki. Chujiro Hayashi's line is much more active than the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. To review this secondary branching we will cover each of the five continued paths that are known to modern day times.

Chie Hayashi was Chujiro's wife. She was trained as a Reiki Master by him. After Chujiro's death she continued to operate the clinic for at least several years. I couldn't locate a closing date for the clinic, but it is said that her children did not carry on the healing tradition. It appears this branch ended with her.

Takeuchi was a Zen monk who was trained as a Reiki Master by Chujiro. He returned to his monastery and passed on the tradition to another monk, Seiji Takamori. Seiji in turn is said to have studied the  true origins of Reiki in Sanskrit and Tibetan documents, etc. What is known is that he made some modifications to the teachings he'd received and began teaching Reiki Jin Kei Do. Seiji passed over in 1992 and left his legacy to Dr. Ranga Premaratna. The system is additionally called enersense and has a strong emphasis on Buddho Meditation. More information can be found at This system is in practice and available today.

Hawayo Takata was a Hawaiian born Japanese woman who was trained as a Reiki Master by Chujiro. She developed Reiki into much of what we know of it today, by popularizing it outside of Japan and bringing it to the United States, Canada, and parts of europe. Hawayo appears to have changed aspects of the Chujiro's teachings, much as many of the other students did. Her system is called Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki and is the most well known version of Reiki in the United States today. In her history of reiki that she taught students, it was largely believed that all other branches of Reiki had died out and that her version was the only Reiki teachings available.

In recent years this has been discovered to be inaccurate. Her history of Reiki showed her as the only continuing lineage of Reiki. It is now known that her history of Reiki is inaccurate. It is interesting to note that in addition to her history of Reiki, many of her precepts are now being shown as inacurrate also. She developed many irregularities that are now known not to be a part of Chujiro Hayashi's teachings of Mikao Usui's Reiki. On the other hand, without her, Reiki most likely wouldn't have become such a powerfully established healing art form.

She passed on in 1980 leaving twenty-two Reiki masters as her legacy. Those twenty-two have since created tens of thousands. They are the basis for Reiki as we know it today. Out of this system have branched hundreds of new Reiki versions as practitioners add their own elements to the teachings.

Chiyoko Yamaguchi received Reiki One and Reiki Two training from Chujiro and her Reiki Master training from her uncle who had been trained by Chujiro. She continued to teach in what she calls the same manner as she was taught (not making any changes to the system) until her death in 2003. She initiated Reiki Masters and at least two of them have continued the path. Tadao Yamaguchi, her son, teaches Jikiden Reiki in Japan and in England. His website is There is also a Buddhist Priest named Hyakuten Inamoto who was taught by Mrs. Yamaguchi. He teaches Komyo Reiki.


These five people form the lineage of modern Reiki. From them, tens of thousands of Reiki masters have been created along with thousands of new styles of Reiki. Want ancient egyptian reiki? It's available. How about angelic reiki, lightarian reiki, even dolphin trilogy reiki. All of these forms are ones that individual masters have created. There are many talented teachers out there, with many unique styles. Find the one that's right for you...

Knowing the history of Reiki will not change your ability to channel the universal white light energy of Reiki.What it will do is provide you with a basis for the roots of this powerful healing art form and provide you with a clearer understanding of the many, many, many different versions of Reiki available today. They are all valid. Seek out the version that calls to your soul.

This history of Reiki was created as a gift to all Reiki practitioners in the world. It is time for all of us to recognize that we are united in a common cause, healing, and that competition and competitive thinking are a block to the true Reiki healing energies. No one system is better than another. Reiki is equal for all.






Thank you for visiting the history of Reiki page. We hope you have learned from the authentic Reiki history outlined here.


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The History of Reiki...

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The Three Levels of Reiki...

Your Reiki Stories...

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