The following is an updated history of Reiki based on accurate, verifiable information. Where possible, sources have been referenced so others can follow up on this research if desired. The history begins with a look at the inscription on the memorial stone that was erected in 1927 in memory of Mikao Usui Sensei, founder of the Reiki healing system.
The inscription on the Usui Memorial, dating from 1927, was written by Juzaburo Ushida, a Shihan who was trained by Usui Sensei and able to teach and practice Reiki the same way he did. He also succeeded Usui Sensei as president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. Masayuki Okata, also a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, was the editor. The English translation was done by Tetsuyuki Ono and is reprinted here from the book, lyashino Gendai Reiki- ho, with permission from the author Hiroshi Doi.
What you can naturally realize through cultivation and training is called “VIRTUE” and it is called “MERIT” to spread a method of leadership and relief and practice it. It is people of many merits and a good deal of virtue that can be eventually called a great founder. People who started a new learning and founded a fresh sect among sages, philosophers, geniuses etc., named from the ancient times, were all those as mentioned above. We can say that Usui-Sensei is also one of those people.
He started newly a method to improve body and spirit based on REIKI in the universe. Hearing of the rumor, people who would like to learn the treatment and undergo the cure gathered from all quarters all at once. Really, it was very busy indeed.
Usui-Sensei, whose popular name is Mikao and whose pen name is Gyohan, came from Taniai-village, Yamagata- district, Cifu Prefecture, and had forefathers named Tsunetane Chiba who had played an active part as a military commander between the end of Heian Period and the beginning of Kamakura Period (1180-1230). His father’s real name is Taneuji and his popular name is Uzaemon. His mother came and got married from the family named Kawai.
Usui-Sensei was born on 15th August, 1865. Having learned under difficulties in his childhood, he studied hard with efforts and he was by far superior in ability to his friends.
After growing up, he went over to Europe and America, and also studied in China. In spite of his real ability, however, he was not always successful in life. Although he was compelled to lead an unfortunate and poor life so often, he strove much more than before to harden his body and mind without flinching from the difficulties.
One day, Usui-Sensei climbed Mt. Kurama, where he began to do penance while fasting. Suddenly on the twenty first day from the start, he felt a great REIKI over his head, and at the same time as he was spiritually awakened he acquired the REIKI cure. When he tried it on his own body and members’ of his family also, it brought an immediate result on them.
Having said “It is much better to give this power widely to a lot of people in the world and enjoy it among them than to keep it exclusively by his family members.” Usui-Sensei moved his dwelling to Aoyama Harajuku, Tokyo in April, 1922 and established an institute, where the REIKI cure was instructed openly to the public and the treatment was given, too. People came there from far and near to ask for his guidance and cure, and they over-flowed outside, making a long line.
Tokyo had a very big fire caused by a great earthquake in Kanto district in September, 1923, when the injured and sick persons suffered from pains everywhere. Usui-sensei felt a deep anxiety about that, and he was engaged in a cure, going around inside the city every day. We can hardly calculate how many persons were saved from death with his devotion. His activities of relief, in which he extended his hands of love over to those suffering people against this emergent situation, can be outlined as noted above.
Thereafter, his training center became too small to receive the visitors, so he built a new house in Nakano outside the city in February 1925 and transferred there. As his reputation got higher and higher, it was so often when he received an offer of engagement from everywhere throughout the nation. In accordance with these requests he traveled to Kure and Hiroshima, then entered Saga and reached Fukuyama. It was at the inn at which he stayed on his way that he caught a disease abruptly, and he passed away at the age of sixty-two.
His wife got married, coming from the Suzuki family, and she is named Sadako and has a son and a daughter. The son’s name is Fuji, and he succeeds to the Usui family.
Usui-Sensei’s natural character was gentle and prudent, and he did not keep up appearances. His body was big and sturdy, and his face was always beaming with a smile. But when he faced the difficulties he went ahead with a definite will and yet persevered well, keeping extremely careful. He was a man of versatile talents and also a book lover, knowing well in the wide range from history, biography, medical science, canons of Christianity and Buddhism and psychology up to magic of fairyland, art of curse, science of divination and physiognomy.
In my opinion, it is evident to everybody that Usui-Sensei’s cultivation & training were based on his career of art and science, and the cultivation & training became a clue to create the REIKI cure.
Reviewing the fact, I understand what the REIKI cure is aiming at is not only to heal the diseases but also to correct the mind by virtue of a God-sent spiritual ability, keep the body healthy and enjoy a welfare of life. In teaching the persons, therefore, we are supposed to first let them realize the last instructions of the Emperor Meiji, and chant the 5 admonitions morning and evening to keep them in mind.
These are really the important precepts for a cultivation, just the same as those by which the ancient sages admonished themselves. Usui-Sensei emphasized that ‘This is surely a secret process to bring a good fortune and also a miraculous medicine to remedy all kinds of diseases.’ by which he made his purpose of teaching clear and accurate. Furthermore, he tried to aim at making his way of guidance as easy and simple as possible, so nothing is difficult to understand therein. Every time when you sit quietly and join your hands to pray and chant morning and evening, you can develop a pure and sound mind, and there is just an essence in making the most of that for your daily life. This is the reason why the REIKI cure can very easily spread over anybody.
The phase of life is very changeable in these days, and people’s thoughts are apt to change, too. Could we fortunately succeed in spreading the REIKI cure everywhere, we feel sure that it would have to be very helpful in order to prevent people from disordering their moral sense. It never extends people nothing but the benefits of healing long term illness, chronic disease and bad habit.
The number of pupils who learned from Usui-sensei amounts to more than 2000 persons. Some leading pupils living in Tokyo among them gather at the training center and take over his work, while other pupils in the country also do everything to popularize the REIKI cure. Although our teacher already passed away, we have to do the very best to hand the REIKI cure down to the public forever and spread it much more. Ah! What a great thing he did; to have unsparingly given people what he had felt and realized by himself!
As a result of our pupils’ recent meeting and discussion, we decided to erect a stone monument at the graveyard in his family temple so that we may bring his virtuous deed to light and transmit it to posterity; so, I was requested to arrange an epitaph for the monument. As I was much impressed by his great meritorious deed and also struck by our pupils’ warm hearts of making much of the bond between master and pupil, I dared not refuse the request, but described the outline.
Therefore, I do expect heartily that people in the future generations would not forget to look up at the monument in open-eyed wonder.