The founding Grandmasters of Rei-Ki:
- Dr. Mikao Usui ( 15 Aug 1865 – 9 March 1926 )
- Dr. Chujiro Hayashi ( 15 Sept 1880 – 11 May 1940 )
- Hawayo Takata ( 24 Dec 1900 – 11 Dec 1980 )
The Founding Masters
Dr. Mikao Usui – Founding Father of Rei-Ki
Rei-Ki ( Reiki Ryoho ) was founded about a century ago in 1922 by a distinguished Japanese scholar, Dr. Mikao Usui, respectfully addressed as “Usui Mikao Sensei.”
He was born on August 15, 1865, in the Yamagata region in Japan. His family was traditionally Buddhist and lived there for 11 generations.
Mikao Usui was sent to a Buddhist monastery to start his education from a very young age of around 4 years old.
It is believed that he became fluent in English, Chinese and Sanskrit languages, and took keen interest in philosophy, western medicine, and theology. He also became a doctor in Japanese literature.
How Rei-Ki Started
Usui Sensei attained spiritual enlightenment while fasting and meditating on Mt. Kurama ( Kurama Yama ) in Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan.
The knowledge to channel this healing ability was spiritually bestowed upon him in 1922 at the age of 57.
He called this energy healing system ~ ‘( 霊気 ) Rei-Ki Ryoho’ ( Rei-Ki art of healing ).
Usui Sensei set out with the noble intention to share this wonderful gift of healing with the people.
On the very same year in 1922, he opened a training center called “Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai” at Aoyama in Tokyo.
Dr. Mikao Usui shared this unique gift of Rei-Ki for a period that lasted just 4 years before his passing in 1926.
Rei-Ki Goes Global
Dr. Usui’s last student was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi (1880 – 1940 ), a retired officer of the Imperial Navy of Japan, was initiated into Shinpiden level ( ie., a “Shihan” or Teacher) in 1925 and opened his own Rei-Ki clinic in Tokyo.
We have much to be grateful to Chujiro Hayashi Sensei for introducing a structured handbook of Rei-ki treatments on hand positions to help us understand the physical healing aspect of Rei-ki.
In essence, all Rei-Ki practiced today could be rightfully termed “Hayashi Shiki Usui Rei-Ki Ryoho“.
Having heard of this unique healing technique, a Hawaiian-born Japanese American, Mrs. Hawayo Takata ( 1900 – 1980 ) who was diagnosed with a serious gall bladder ailment, made a trip to Japan where she was treated and healed with Rei-Ki by Hayashi Sensei.
Hawayo Takata apprenticed under Hayashi Sensei for a year before returning to Hawaii. Hayashi Sensei visited Mrs.Takata in Hawaii and initiated her to a Rei-Ki Shihan/Teacher in 1938.
Mrs.Takata subsequently established a Rei-ki clinic in Hawaii where she continued her work.
Rei-Ki was introduced to the western world by Mrs. Hawayo Takata in the 1970’s.
In the decade before her death in 1980, Mrs Takata started teaching in mainland USA, where she trained and initiated 22 Rei-ki Teachers, including Reverend Beth Gray as the first western Rei-Ki Teacher in 1973.
She set up the first Rei-Ki centre in America and was also responsible for introducing Rei-Ki to Australia and New Zealand.
Thanks to the dedication of these 22 Rei-Ki Teachers ( who were later called Rei-Ki Masters), the Rei-Ki hands-on healing art spread rapidly in the West and throughout the world.
Ironically, Rei-Ki was little known in its birthplace of Japan until a revival of the art in 1984.
Having spread around the world, several different versions of Rei-Ki have evolved, while many Rei-Ki Masters still religiously adhere to the traditional ‘Usui Rei-Ki Ryoho’ system.