TRANSLATION OF A REIKI ARTICLE FROM A 1986 EDITION OF A JAPANESE
A Quest for the Origin of "Reiki Healing"
article Copyright © 1986 Shiomi Takai / "The Twilight
A PRINTABLE, PDF-FORMAT VERSION OF THIS DOCUMENT, CLICK HERE
article comes from the April 1986 edition of a now defunct Japanese
Metaphysical Magazine: "The Twilight Zone"
number of pictures accompany the article. There is a photo of
Usui Sensei, one of Barbara Ray (founder of The Radiance Technique),
and one of Takata Sensei; as well as several of Mieko Mitsui giving
Reiki treatments, and three photos of Fumio Ogawa.
Also shown are pictures of Fumio Ogawa's Reiki certificates and
the Gokai (Reiki Precepts); and on the final page there is a picture
of Barbara Ray's 'The Official Reiki Handbook' - which was translated
into Japanese by Mieko Mitsui.
versions of each page,
right-click on image and 'save link target as' to save image to
desktop before opening
are large files!!)
Mysterious Experience Report #28:
for the origin of "Reiki Healing"
What is 'Usui-style Reiki healing'?
Report by Shiomi Takai
Version, Copyright © 2004 James Deacon
[Translation (especially for AETW.org) by
Hoshi Ito, Sadako Yamamoto & Sho Yoshizaki]
in the USA there has been a boom in popularity of 'Reiki Healing'.
This healing method - utilising 'cosmic energy' - originated in
Japan and has now been re-imported into Japan.
reporter went on the quest for the roots of this mysterious spiritual
was introduced from Japan to the USA
is claimed that 'Reiki' can heal illness by just holding the hands
at specific points on the body's surface. It is also said to purify
food and water.
this healing method, which utilises cosmic energy, has previously
appeared twice (09/84 and 07/85) in this magazine many readers
might recognise the name.
December, I had an opportunity to interview Reiki Master Mieko
Mitsui, who had returned (to Japan)
for a short visit.
1978, I went to the USA. I had, up till then, worked as an editor
for a publisher - I worked without rest, 365 days a year. Then
one day I had enough and decided to go to the USA to devote time
to my own studies.
childhood I have not been physically very strong, and on top of
that, due to the stress of long arduous working days in Japan
and the change of lifestyle in the USA, my health had suffered.
was then I encountered Reiki. For the first time in my life, thanks
to Reiki, I experienced a happy life, free from physical discomfort."
sensei studied Reiki eagerly from then on, becoming a Reiki Master
after six months. It is my understanding that this is an unusually
rapid achievement in the USA.
were two main reasons for this visit (to
Japan). Firstly, to spread Reiki Healing in Japan, the
country of its origin. Secondly, to search for the origins of
to the handbook published by The American International Reiki
Association Inc, the person who developed Reiki Healing was Japanese:
Dr Mikao Usui.
was then introduced to the USA by a Japanese Hawaiian, Hawayo
Takata. The present head of Reiki Healing in the USA, Dr Barbara
Ray, was apparently initiated by Mrs Takata.
its origins, Reiki Healing is virtually unknown in Japan. Each
time Mitsui sensei returned to Japan, she searched for its roots.
After a long search, last December when she returned, Mitsui sensei
obtained two major pieces of information.
was the location of Dr Usui's tomb, and the other was the discovery
of a pamphlet which had probably been handed to Reiki Seminar
attendees, and a certificate.
wasting any time, Mitsui sensei visited the Saihoji Temple in
Nakano-ku, Tokyo, where there was a large tomb for Dr Usui, bearing
is an outline of the inscription:
Usui's full name was Mikao Usui. He was born on 15th August 1865
in Yago-mura (now Miyama-cho), Yamagata-gun, Gifu prefecture.
From an early age, he studied hard while supporting himself and
later visited the USA, Europe and China.
day, he had a strong desire to climb Kurama Yama in Kyoto. After
21 days of rigourous spiritual discipline, he discovered Reiki
Healing. Realising the great significance of this healing method,
in 1922, he established a Society in Harajuku-ku (Harajuku
district), Tokyo. It was filled with people who heard of
the effect of this healing.
1923, there was a great earthquake affecting Tokyo and the surrounding
area, Dr Usui used to visit many places in Tokyo to heal the sufferers.
Unexpectedly, this helped to publicise Reiki Healing at that time.
Probably because of this popularity, the training centre in Harajuku
became too small and they moved to Nakano-ku in February 1925.
returning from a trip to Kure, Hiroshima and Saga for recruitment
of masters, Dr Usui fell ill in Fukuyama, Hiroshima prefecture
and died. It was 9th March 1926 and Dr Usui was 61 years old.
inscription ended with the words: "by Masayuki Okada, Juzaburo
Ushida, February 1927".
the address of Dr Usui's family, Mitsui sensei, visited them,
however they refused to see her.
Via an intercom at the gate, Dr Usui's son's wife told her: "Because
of instructions from the father in his will, we have nothing to
do with the healing".
According to the temple, some flowers are placed at Dr Usui's
tomb on the 9th day of every month but nobody knows whom they
Mitsui sensei met a person with some connection to Dr Usui when
she held a Reiki seminar in Shizuoka.
was one of the people attending the seminar - a Mr Mochizuki from
Shizuoka. His wife's father, Mr H.I., had attended a Reiki Healing
seminar in Shizuoka and held a healer's qualification.
H.I. was a headmaster of primary school at the time, and, as an
educator,he must have appreciated this healing method.
old (Reiki Healing Society) handbook,
which is now in Mitsui sensei's possession, contains rules for
members, dogma, healing guidelines and poems by the Meiji emperor.
In the healing guidelines section, it explains the basic healing
method in detail as well as methods for healing disorders including
those of the digestive and nervous systems.
have now decided to take over the research of following Dr Usui's
trail from Mitsui sensei who has gone back to the USA.
contacted Mr Mochizuki and he introduced me to Mr Fumio Ogawa
in Shizuoka. Mr Ogawa's late father, Keizo Ogawa was one of the
officials listed in the handbook (called the 'Reiki Healing Regulations')
and initiated Mr H.I. mentioned earlier.
was intrigued to discover that Mr Fumio Ogawa is also a master
- and had received 'reiju'. This was the first time I had heard
the word "reiju.
present in the USA, Reiki training involves several steps. The
First Degree is the beginners' course. The second degree includes
distant healing. The highest level is the third degree, divided
to part A and part B, and when both have been studied, one can
receive the qualification of Reiki Instructor.
with this, however, the course Dr Usui established was far more
arduous. The course was divided into 6 levels with the 6th degree
being the beginner level. After the 3rd degree (i.e. 4th level),
the next was called Okuden first half and then came Okuden final
half. At this stage, a chosen few would receive the yet higher
level - the 'Mysterious Initiation'.
is what is conferred on those chosen few and not necessarily just
once, sometimes it was given more than once.
is difficult to grasp the meaning of 'Reiju' from the (meaning
of the individual) characters, but it would be fair to
think it means "opening the channel to receive the cosmic
energy", said Mr Ogawa.
'Reiju', there is an unwritten rule that nobody should talk about
it, so I am afraid I cannot tell you what it is. But I can say
this that there used be meetings called 'Reijukai' where the people
who had studied to the highest level gathered, and 'Reiju' was
conferred on them.
was not difficult to become a member. If you attended Reiki Healing
lectures that were organised in various places, paying a fee of
between 500 to 1000 yen, then you were a member.
people attended every meeting and studied hard themselves. When
that was recognized, they were allowed to have 'Reiju' conferred
on them. But I remember that even if they could heal themselves,
it was extremely rare that they reached the level of healing others.
there were only three people who had 'Reiju' conferred on them
by Dr Usui directly. They were Mr Taketomi Seiichi (or
Kanichi?) who became the second president after Dr Usui's
death, the third president Mr Yoshiharu Watanabe and the fourth
president Mr Toyokazu (Hoichi?) Wanami."
am wondering what this 'mysterious initiation'- actually an elite
training course - really is.
one received the 'mysterious initiation', one would be aware of
the client's problems without asking him. The illness lines would
appear on the healers hand and he would understand what state
the client was in.
'mysterious initiation' would include three parts: a blood changing
method, a character healing method and distant healing - for which
photographs were used."
Ogawa provided me with one more important piece of information.
He said that the Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Reiki
Healing Society) - which was considered to have become
extinct - still continues to exist in Tokyo.
attempted to contact a lady who was the sixth president of the
Usui-shiki Reiki Ryoho Kenkyukai (Usui-style
Reiki Healing Research Society). Although an interview
was refused, I was lucky to obtain a little more information from
from damage during the war, the Reiki Gakkai headquarters was
moved from place to place.
members have left the Gakkai and established unique teachings
or became founders of newly arisen spiritual groups.
Also, Dr Usui once seems to have been a secretary to Mr Shimpei
latter part is important. In the American Reiki handbook, Dr Usui
is supposed to have been the headmaster of Christian theological
school in Kyoto. But according to Mitsui sensei's research, no
such school exists in Kyoto, and, moreover, my own research did
not reveal a "Christian" Dr Usui. Mitsui sensei thinks
the school may possibly have been a small private establishment
but I wonder what the reality was.
I should explain about Mr Shimpei Goto. He was born in Iwate prefecture
in 1857 and after graduating from medical school in Fukushima
prefecture, worked in the Ministry of Health, becoming head of
the Ministry in 1891.
the Sino-Japanese war, he was in charge of the army quarantine
office. In 1899 he became Director of the civil administration
of Taiwan, and in 1908 president of the Manchurian Railway. After
that, he was appointed Communications Minister, Railway President,
Minister of the Interior, Minister for Foreign Affairs - and finally
he became the Mayor of Tokyo. He died in 1920.
is not at all clear when Dr Usui was a secretary to Mr Goto but
if it is a fact, this position must have been very helpful when
it came to meeting influential people.
still the mystery remains.
to the snippets of information I gathered, Dr Usui had several
faces - a company employee, a businessman, and so on - but none
of them were connected to healing. So what led him to become a
I would like to do now is to look at just what kind of times Dr
Usui lived in.
From the Meiji era to the early part of the Showa era, while the
established religions were losing power, many new spiritual leaders
appeared on the scene.
them were, Tennen Kuwahara, and Morihei Tanaka, the founder of
Taireido. These especially are said to have had 'spiritual skill'
/ 'spiritual power' ('reijutsu')
and attracted many followers. Onisaburo Deiguchi of Daihonkyo [Oomoto kyo]
and Mokichi Okada, the founder of Sekaikyuseikyo are also seen
as 'great lights' who shone around that time.
which spiritual healer would have influenced Dr Usui? The likeliest
possibility could have been Morihei Tanaka, as he was from Tajimi
city, where he established the Taireido headquarters. This was
also close to Miyama-cho where Dr Usui was born.
was said to practice "Reishi jutsu" which is a kind
of life energy theory and healed many people successfully. Skillful
practitioners were supposed to be able to see through the body
just like an X-ray.
is only a presumption but it is likely that Dr Usui may have taken
an interest in Tanaka who became rather well known around 1918.
Tanaka was quite a Nationalist but Dr Usui seemed to have been
of a more liberal type. One of the reasons for that was that Dr
Usui had Naval officers amongst the members (of
the Society). The Naval officers had knowledge about the
world (the Japanese were still mainly very
insular at this time) and tended to be more progressive.
kind of man was Dr Usui? After our research, it is still not clear.
is the truth of the 'mysterious initiation' which it is forbidden
to talk about?
is the lineage of the spiritual healing traditions that influenced
things are all still unknown.
research has just started.
the hope that readers might be able to contribute some information,
I close this first report of this subject.