What we know about Reiki changes constantly as more and more information becomes available from Japan. There largely seems to be a difference between the western and Japanese histories. However, my advice would be to remain open minded, do your own research and remember this is about healing and staying true to your own energy.
Mikao Usui 1865 1926
Dr Usui founded the Usui system of Reiki or Usui Shiki reiki. He was born into a wealthy Buddhist family.
Dr Usui all over the world. On this journey he travelled to the holy mountains of Kori Yama where he undertook a 21 one day fast and meditation to achieve a higher state of consciousness. As he was about to give up, on the 21st day the great spiritual energy he had been seeking came to him and he became enlightened. The energy brought with it Reiki Ryoho, which is the ability to heal.
After this revelation, Dr Usui returned to the monastery, but after a short while he decided instead to head to the slums to treat beggars and help them. He spent 7 years doing this and treating many people. Some of the people he had helped started to return, and when he asked why they were coming back they told him it was easier to continue begging than to create a new life from scratch.
Reiki is a Spiritual practice, it is a chance for everyone to awaken to their true nature. Dr Usui adjusted his teachings to each student.
Dr Chujiro Hayashi
Dr Hayashi was a student of Usui. He continued the work of Dr Usui by opening a clinic which was open until 1940. He is one of the twenty-one students of Usui.
Hayashi developed a new style of Reiki, he used many of the original techniques but combined this with the more formal aspects that are taught today such as the hand positions and attunement.
Dr Hayashi’s clinic became quite famous and spread throughout Japan.
Mrs Takata was Hawaiian born of Japanese descent. Her journey began after the death of her husband and sister. She herself became unwell and decided to travel to Japan to seek medical attention. Whilst there, she sought alternative treatments to help with her ailments as she didn’t want to have surgery.
One doctor she saw, referred her to Dr Hayashi’s clinic. Here she started to receive regular treatments. Over a period of several weeks, her health improved quite a lot. She was so amazed by this that she asked to be taught how to perform these healing treatments herself. Dr Hayashi agreed to teach her, and she studied with him for two years after which she returned to Hawaii and opened her own clinic.
Takata was the first to bring reiki to the West. She began training other Reiki students in the 1970’s. When she passed she had trained 22 Reiki Masters that are essentially responsible for the spread of Reiki in the West today.