'ORIGINAL' REIKI INFORMATION - THE SOURCES
© 2002/5 James Deacon
What follows is a list of some of the people responsible for the
'new' information regarding the History of Reiki which has already
emerged - and still continues to emerge. It is an open-ended list
and will be added to from time to time
of some of these people can be found on the REIKI
Mitsui (a journalist) had become a 'Master' ('Instructor'
- Level 3b) in Barbara Ray's "Radiance Technique" Reiki
while living in New York.
In 1985 she went back to Japan to try and see what she could discover
about Reiki's origins.
She started teaching Reiki there - and also translated Barbara
Ray's Reiki book "The Reiki Factor" into Japanese -
and in the process could be said to have been responsible for
single-handedly sparking a 'Reiki Revival' in Japan.
In addition to promoting Barbara Ray's style of 'western' Reiki,
Mieko reported that, contrary to the 'Takata version' of the History,
Reiki had not died out in Japan.
She spoke of a privately printed book, "Usui Reiki Gakkai"
(said to be an academic text written by a mathematician at Meiji
University, Tokyo) which supposedly talks about Reiki and a man
Mitsui also stated that 'Japanese' Reiki had (as is the case with
Barbara Ray's system) more than the standard three Levels or Degrees
found in familiar 'Takata-style' Reiki.
She also claimed said that she tracked down the home of Usui-Sensei's
son's family, but that they refused to speak to her about Mikao
Apparently Mieko Mitsui herself received some training from a
Japanese lineage Reiki Master: Goro Myazaki, who had been a student
of Usui-Sensei's friend & student: Toshiro Eguchi.
Amongst many others, Mitsui taught Reiki to Hiroshi Doi; however,
due to the nature of the training structure utilised in the 'Radiance
Technique' style of Reiki (also known as 'Real Reiki') which she
practices, she was, at the time, only permitted to initiate practitioners
to Level 2.
One-time 'Sannyasin' (i.e. disciple of the Indian Guru Bhagwan
Shree Rajneesh - AKA: 'Osho' - 1931-1990 ), and author of several
books including: 'Reiki Fire: New Information about the Origins
of the Reiki Power', German-born Reiki Master Frank 'Arjava' Petter
and his wife Chetna began teaching Reiki in Sapporo, Japan in
On discovering that Frank and Chetna were offering Third Degree
training and attunement, a great many Second Degree Reiki students
(most of whom had presumably been attuned by Mieko Mitsui), sought
It could be said that Frank and Chetna's research in to Reiki
survivals in Japan took over from where Mieko Mitsui's research
It was Chetna's mother: Masano Kobayashi who translated the inscription
on the Usui Memorial (written in old the old form of Japanese
kanji-characters) into modern-day Japanese, enabling Frank
and Chetna to produce the first (known) English version of the
Published "Iyashi No Te" in 1995 (- believed by many
to be the first modern day Reiki book written by a Japanese master,
but see Fumio Ogawa, below).
Trained originally in western style Reiki, apparently also received
tuition from Masters in Japan whose training history is partly
Mochizuki attributes some of his historical information to an
obscure Japanese book entitled "The Secret of How to Take
Care of Your Family Members" by Takichi Tsukida.
Runs the Vortex school of Reiki, in Yokohama.
The "Traditional Japanese Reiki" system (created in
1995) is based on the Vortex system's teachings which contains
material from both Western and Japanese sources.
Fuminori Aoki is Chairman of the Nagoya Reiki Lab (formerly the
"Human & Trust Institute").
He is also the author of the book: "The Reiki Healing".
At the Institute's Clinic, Aoki teaches his own form of Reiki,
known as: 'Reido Reiki', a system which
attempts to unite Western and Japanese Reiki Traditions.
Author of 'Iyashi no Gendai Reikiho' or "Modern Reiki Method
for Healing". learnt Reiki from Mieko Mitsui. He also received
Neo Reiki training from an Indian Reiki master in Tokyo.
Professes to be a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai - the
Society believed to have been set up shortly after Usui-sensei's
death by some of his students.
Apparently he studied with the former Gakkai chairperson, Mrs.
Doi claims that the objective of Reiki was to attain a state known
as: Anshin Ritsumei (or: Dai Anjin), a state in which ones mind
is totally at peace - not bothered by anything - and in which
one perceive one's life's purpose.
Hiroshi Doi also says that in the early eighties he studied a
form of Téaté (healing) with a Mr.Hiroshi Ohta,
but only later discovered that what he had learnt was actually
He states that at the time he met Mieko Mitsui he was seeking
to develop his own healing technique by uniting systems he had
Amongst the systems Doi mentions are: Nishino Breathing, Shinmeikan
Healing, SAS Shinkko, Genkyoku Kiko, Crystal Healing, Kihodo Healing,
Hypnotic Kiko, Osteopathy, Energy Balancing, Astral Healing, Silva
Mind Ccontrol Method, theNatural Vibration technique, Seikiho,
Dokiho, Balance Therapy, & Multi-dimension Body Work.
Hiroshi Doi's school of Reiki, called "Gendai
Reiki" -Modern / Contemporary Reiki Method - blends western
Reiki with what he claims to be Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai practices,
though one wonders to what degree "Gendai Reiki" has
been influenced by the above-mentioned therapeutic systems.
Martial Artist and Tendai Buddhist, Chris states that, during
a visit to Japan in June 2000, to complete some martial arts training,
he was introduced to several people all having had connections
with Mikao Usui, including a 107 year old Tendai nun referred
to as: 'Suzuki-san', who was one of Usui Sensei's original students
from 1915 to 1920.
Chris was apparently also shown a number of artifacts related
On a further visit to Japan in June/July 2001 he claims to have
been introduced to a further 11 very elderly students of Mikao
Usui, including Buddhist monks and Nuns, Shinto followers and
Chris says he was also shown many of Usui's own papers including
diaries, notes and precepts, all in his own handwriting. Apparently
he was allowed to make handwritten copies of some of these documents
and other copies were forwarded to him later.
Chris's contacts apparently emphasise that Usui was Tendai until
the end of his
life, that the Reiki teachings were Buddhist in origin although
they included some Shinto energy practices, and also that Usui
Sensei did not really have a name for the system - the name used
by Usui's students is 'Usui Teate' - 'Usui Hand Touch / Usui Hand
Healing' and also 'Usui Do' - 'Usui Way' - that the name Reiki
is not used or known by Usui's students.
According to Chris, Reiju is the most important aspect of Usui-Sensei's
teachings and as such is taught very late on in training. He says
there are seven levels of shinpiden (the 'Master' degree) and
reiju is taught at the sixth level.
seems to be some confusion regarding Suzuki-san: some sources
claim she is a cousin (or even niece) of Sadako Suzuki, Usui-Sensei's
wife - yet others say she is Usui-Sensei's cousin).
Born in 1895, Suzuki-san apparently began her training with Usui-Sensei
when she was 20 years old.
focus of Usui-Sensei's teachings, according to Suzuki-san, was
on self-realization. The ability to heal others was seen simply
as a beneficial side effect of 'working on self', and not only
was healing of others not central to the teachings but the whole
approach to healing is different to that found in the system we
know as 'Reiki'.
King & Melissa Riggall
Dave King promotes what he refers to as Usui-Do - claiming this
to be "an authentic reconstruction" of the "meditative,
Spiritual system" of Mikao Usui.
Melissa Rigall (died March 12, 2003) maintained that she has met
several of Dr. Hayashi's students while in Japan, and both she
and Dave claim to have met about a dozen of Usui Sensei's surviving
students, including one who was more than 112 years old and a
Buddhist nun aged 105 who was apparently trained to the second
highest level by Usui Sensei.
According to Dave, he and Melissa were taught Reiki (Rokudan level)
by Yuji Onuki (who apparently trained to Shichidan
level with Toshihiro Eguchi - a onetime friend and student of
Usui-Sensei) in 1971 in Morocco.
Dave says he spent time with Mr. Tatsumi,
[said to be one of Hayashi-Sensei's Shichidan (Usui-Do) and Shinpiden
(Hayashi Reiki) students], in rural Japan and achieved Usui-do
shichidan (level 7) in 1995.
He apparently learnt Tatsumi's attunement process and was allowed
to trace copies of the four Reiki symbols in Hayashi's handwriting.
Tatsumi died in October 1996 and is said to have left his complete
set of master level notes for Dave and Melissa to review.
Apparently Dave and Melissa also had Godan (3rd highest level
in the original Usui-Do) conferred on them in October 2002 by
from Mariko-Obaasan, a Tendai Buddhist nun whom, we are told -
like Chris Marsh's 'Suzuki-san' - was one of Usui-Sensei's original
(Autumn 2003) a number of people have begun to voice concerns
as to the validity of the Usui-Do information propagated by Dave
Mariko-Obaasan's accounts regarding early Reiki history, Mikao
Usui, and the Reiki teachings have not been confirmed or verified.
In fact, the very existence of Mariko-Obaasan is being questioned
in some quarters, with the suggestion that the Mariko-Obaasan
material may actually be - to put it diplomatically - 'channelled'
in all fairness, it should be pointed out that concerns have also
been voiced with regards to the 'Suzuki-san' material being taught
by Chris Marsh, and indeed even the validity of the Usui Reiki
Ryoho Gakkai information being circulated by Hiroshi Doi has been
Mariko-Obaasan, a Buddhist nun (age 105), apparently has no knowledge
of UsuiSensei's experience on Kurama Yama, although she and her
friend met him on Mt. Hiei (Headquarters of the Tendai sect) in
1920 and spent almost every day working with him, up to the time
of his death in 1926.
Apparently she says that Usui Sensei was not pro-Meiji; also that
he was true to Tendai all his life, and made an offering every
day to Amida Nyorai.
According to Mariko-Obaasan, initially there were no levels or
grades - students simply worked through a series of exercises
until Usui-Sensei felt they were ready to proceed - then in 1923
Usui-Sensei introduced a grading system used by (Jigoro?) Kano.
Thus the levels in the original Usui-Do system became:
rokyu, gokyu, yankyu, sankyu, nikkyu (CKR symbol taught at this
level), ikkyu (SHK symbol ), shodan (HSZSN symbol), nidan (DKM
symbol), sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, shichidan (nanadan).
Mariko-Obaasan reached the 2nd highest level of Rokudan (in Japan,
women were traditionally not allowed to attain the highest levels
in a given art).
Seemingly, Usui-Sensei's system was one focussing on spiritual
growth and Mariko-Obaasan apparently has no knowledge of it having
a healing component (i.e. in the sense of being a therapeutic
modality for the treatment of others).
[Mariko-Obaasan apparently died Sept 30, 2005 - aged 107]
[ - the "in" of Tenon-In is a title for a nun who
takes holy orders after the death of her husband (he had been
killed in WW-I)]
Chiyoko Yamaguchi [1921 - Aug. 19th 2003]
Mrs. Yamaguchi, a Shoden & Okuden
level student of Chujiro Hayashi, apparently taught
exactly what she herself had been taught as by Hayashi-Sensei in 1938, when she was 17.
She referred to Hayashi-Sensei's system as "Hayashi Shiki
Reiki Ryoho" (Hayashi Style Reiki Healing Method), though
the certificate she received is said to have had the name Hayashi
Reiki Ryoho Kenkyu-kai (Research Center) on it.
Mrs. Yamaguchi maintained that she was not taught any formal hand
positions; she said she used have a number of notes (apparently
copied from Hayashi-Sensei's - it was customary for students to
copy their Teachers notes), which (along with her certificates?)
were later lost in a fire in Manchuria.
We are told Chiyoko Yamaguchi's uncle had invited Hayashi-Sensei
to run a Shoden / Okuden class for approximately 20 students in
their town, and apparently paid her tuition fee. While it had
been claimed that Hayashi-Sensei returned at a later date to provide
third level training and authorise her to teach Reiki, it is now
said that she actually received Shimpiden level training from
her uncle, Wasaburo Sugano, who had also been trained by Hayashi-sensei.
While Mrs. Yamaguchi was not completely sure, she believed it
possible that Hayashi-Sensei employed different teaching methods
when providing classes outside the Capital than he did in his
An 'independent' Buddhist Priest, learnt Reiki from Mrs.Yamaguchi...
Teaches what he calls Komyo Reiki
Komyo Reiki places emphasis on personal spiritual transformation
- that is: 'Satori' - through Reiki practice.
Like many others, Hyakuten-san holds that Usui-Sensei's original
teachings focussed on spiritual development, and that any healing
that took place was merely considered a side effect to this spiritual
Apparently, Hyakuten does not understood why Usui Sensei, if he was -as many
claim - a Tendai Buddhist until his death, has a grave stone in
a Jodo shu Buddhist cemetery.
Fumio Ogawa (1906-1998 )
Fumio Ogawa, who lived in Shizuoka, learned Reiki from his (adoptive?)
father: Keizo (or: Kyozou) Ogawa, who in turn had learnt Reiki
from one of Usui-Sensei's students: Kanichi Taketomi (- who would
later become the 3rd president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai).
Keizo Ogawa was apparently also a good friend of Usui-Sensei and
had received his Reiki Master initiation from him as well.
Fumio Ogawa said that he completed his Reiki Master level training
on November 18, 1943. He stated that Usui-Sensei's system in Keizo's
day comprised of six levels, with level 6 being the lowest.
These were: 6th Class - Dai Rokutou,..5th
Class - Dai Gotou, .4th Class - Dai
Class - Dai Santou,.2nd
Class - Okudenzenki, .1st Class -
He also said that during the 1940's there were about 40 Reiki
centres across Japan.
In 1986 Fumio Ogawa compiled (and apparently privately published)
a 'book' (essentially a small manual)entitled: "Everyone
can do Reiki", which, it is claimed, is based on two
Gakkai documents: one being the Handbook of Reiki Treatment and
the other a book written by one of Usui-Sensei's students referred
to as Teacher Wanami.
Oishi (192?-?? )
A resident of Shizuoka, Mr. Tsutomu Oishi learnt Reiki during
the 1950's from Keizo Ogawa. (It is said that Mr Oishi had 'put
aside' his interest in Reiki during the 1960's).
Tsutomu's mother had apparently learnt level 2 Reiki when he was
a small child. His brother had had polio and his mother treated
him on a regular basis until, according to Tsutomu, he was completely
healed. Afterwards, she began treating all the young polio sufferers
in the locality.
According to Mr. Oishi, a failed business venture had left Usui-Sensei
with large debts, and the experience had led him to the conclusion
that there was something more to life than striving for material
wealth. This realisation would start him on a quest culminating
in his experience on Kurama Yama, where, Tsutomu says, Usui-Sensei
used to regularly meditate under a waterfall (note: this is
a practice common to practitioners of 'Shugendo').
According to Tsutomu, during Usui-Sensei's lifetime a Reiki
Centre was set up in Shizouka and was run by Keizo Ogawa, who
was a talented healer. Mr. Ogawa - a retailer of school uniforms
- would treat any sick children he came in contact with.
Tsutomu maintained that both Keizo Ogawa and Usui-Sensei used
to give Reiki-charged crystal balls to their students to employ
in the healing process. (These balls would apparently be placed
directly on the site of ailment or injury.) He says students also
received a Reiki Manual. This manual included a set of treatment
guidelines, as well as describing symptoms and giving an explanation
of what Reiki is.
Mr. Oishi also tells us that Reiki teachers used to assess a student's
ki/ talent for healing by touching their hands which were held
in the gassho (prayer position) while the student sat in
seiza ('sitting on ones heels' - traditional Japanese style.).
According to Tsutomu Oishi, Keizo Ogawa did not have any children
(?), so when he felt he had become too old to continue running
his Reiki Centre, he asked Tsutomu Oishi to assume responsibility.
However Tsutomu respectfully declined the honour as he had
heard that healing others would diminish his own vitality.
(Tan Lin) Mullen
Like Dave King and Melissa Riggall, George claims to have
been trained by Yuji Onuki in 1971.
He says that Yuji Onuki showed them two systems. One, called Usui-Do,
was a system of self development - apparently the same as is currently
being taught by Dave King.
The second, was a 'religion' which Onuki claimed had been developed
by Toshihiro Eguchi (a friend and student of Usui Sensei), based
on some aspects of Usui-Sensei's work. According to George, it
involves summoning a consciousness/deity/kami beyond the self
that can guide the practitioner to form a connection with the
recipient of the healing.
further maintains that he (George) studied for some time at a
remote Taoist retreat in Heilongjiang province, China, where there
is extensive library of ancient Sino-Japanese texts.
He says that in several books there is a clear description of
the origins and use of all four Usui symbols, and also the basic
philosophy of Usui's early teachings.
He further states that contrary to some current views, the symbols
were not "added as aids to training" but were an essential
part of Usui-Sensei's system as early as 1921.
He tells us that Hayashi-Sensei stopped teaching Usui-Do in 1931
in favour of his own system - Hayashi Reiki Ryoho Kenkyu-kai -
which incorporated both palm healing and jikiden (direct transmission
of teachings by "initiation").
also says that he has personally seen several (Tendai?) temple
records, mentioning Mikao Usui, in the Kansai area of Japan.
Blackwell (Lama Yeshe Drugpa Trinley Odzer)
According to Richard Blackwell - a Clinical Psychologist, who
claims to be ordained as both a Tibetan Lama and Japanese Shingon
Priest - he is in possession of a black lacquered box containing
documents once belonging to Usui Sensei (- documents which a German
antiquarian apparently confirmed as authentic manuscripts from
the 7th to the 19th Century), detailing the Reiki tradition and
One of these documents: the Tantra of the Lightning Flash, is
said to present a comprehensive healing method derived from esoteric
Buddhism as practiced in Tibet, and was supposedly brought to
Japan by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism.
[Note: the idea that this 'Tantra of the Lightning Flash' had
originated in Tibet is problematic, as Kukai had actually returned
to Japan (from China) with the sacred texts on which Shingon was
founded, several years before Guru Rinpoche (founder of
Tibetan Tantric Buddhism) had even taken the Tantric teachings
to Tibet. Further, the original catalogue of the texts brought
to Japan by Kukai still exists (in his own handwriting), and this
'Tantra of the Lightning Flash' is not one of them].
Richard maintains that the box was purchased just after WWII by
his father (who was then a Captain in the US Army) from some destitute
monks who were raising funds to rebuild their fire-bombed temple.
According to Richard, Usui Sensei - although born into a Tendai
family - became a devout Shingon Buddhist after a Cholera-induced
near-death experience during which he experienced visions of Dainichi
Nyorai (Mahavairochana) - the central Buddha of the Shingon Faith.
[See notice re: Medicine
Dharma Reiki, Universal
Healing Reiki and
Chhos Rei-Ki here]