IT'S RISE TO POPULARITY
Copyright © 2008 James Deacon
thoughts as to why Reiki had not achieved the same level of popularity
in Japan as it achieved in later years in the West...
It was only after Takata-sensei's passing that Reiki really
began to grow in popularity.
Perhaps timing had a lot to do with this (late 70's / early 80's
was a boom time for 'New Age' businesses, and, lets face it, Reiki
was picked up by many business-minded folk simply because it was
a new 'instantly acquired' addition to the range of therapies they
Reiki might still be relatively unknown in the West if it wasn't
for some shifts in thinking that occurred amongst several of Takata-sensei's
students after her passing.
While Takata left us the legacy of 22 certified Reiki Teachers,
initially it seems, it was understood by most of the '22' that only
Takata-sensei's 'successor' [some believed this to be Barbara Webber
Ray, others Phyllis Furumoto] was permitted to create new Masters.
is an old Japanese tradition that only the current Head of a school/style
of any given initiation-based discipline can confer the highest
degree of initiation/training within that school/style. Other Teachers
would be only permitted to teach the earlier stages of the discipline]
it seems that Phyllis (considered Takata-sensei's successor by the
majority of the others) told the other teachers they all
were permitted to create new Masters.
so, as a result of this first major shift in thinking, the potential
arose for Reiki to spread more swiftly.
more Masters there were, the greater the access to training at all
second major shift in thinking was concerning the financial accessibility
was down to Iris Ishikuro. Iris was the first person to greatly
reduce the fees charged for the Level 3 initiation and training.
a result, the number of Reiki Masters began to grow exponentially
- particularly as several more of the '22' also began to reduce
their fees for Level 3
And before anyone even thinks it - let alone voices it - contrary
to the story told as part of the 'new Reiki history' (or should
that be 'new Reiki myth'?) the introduction of high fees
for Reiki Tuition was not something invented by Takata-sensei.
the 1928 Reiki Article by the playwright and journalist Shou Matsui,
"I was introduced to Mr. Hayashi by a mutual acquaintance and
I paid a large sum of money to learn this treatment method..."
Matsui was speaking of Shoden (i.e. level 1) - and if he had to
pay what he [a quite affluent individual] considered " a large
sum of money", it makes you wonder what Hayashi-sensei's fees
for Okoden (level 2) - never mind Shinpiden (level 3), might have
beyond the high costs of training in Japan, becoming a 'Reiki Master'
had never been easy - often taking many years to achieve, depending
on the natural talents of the individual.
all the students Usui-sensei taught (some estimate a figure in the
region of 2,000), there were only about 20 granted Shinpiden level.
Hayashi-sensei - in the 14 years after Usui-sensei's passing - created
only 13 masters.
with a limited number of masters, probable restrictions on what
they could teach (level-wise), and also the time it could take to
become a master, there was not the same opportunity for Reiki
to grow in the way it would later do in the west
just because people came to Reiki, didn't mean they necessarily
stayed with Reiki.
know that at least two of Usui-sensei's students - Toshihiro Eguchi
and Kaiji Tomita in time abandoned Usui Reiki and went on to establish
their own systems/schools of healing, and it is quite possible that
many others did likewise.
today in the West there are those who, having become Reiki masters,
have 'evolved' their own approaches to healing*,
and in many cases, these individuals move away from Reiki altogether
to found new, independent, systems with new approaches to healing,
and new names. )
is also quite probable that yet other students would have simply
moved on from Reiki to other, more enthusiastically-promoted 'up
and coming' healing practices [just as today many folk move on from
Reiki to various other things, e.g.: the Seichim derivatives, or
Multi-dimensional healing, or Kofutu, Quantum Touch, Chios Energy
Field Healing, etc., etc.]
of course there was the negative hype:
to Frank Petter, Mr. Tsutomu Oishi, who had learnt Reiki from Kozo
Ogawa, one of Usui-sensei's own students, had apparently declined
Ogawa's request that he succeed him as head of his Reiki clinic
reason Oishi declined was because he had heard that healing others
would diminish his own life energy...
The earliest example being MariEL - created in the early
80's by one of the '22', Ethel Lombardi.