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A 1937 Reiki Meeting

After completing her level 2 apprenticeship in Japan, Hawayo Takata returned to Hawaii. In time she started  a small Reiki Treatment practice out of an address in Kapaa in the Kawaihau district on Kauai Island.
Towards the latter part of 1937, Hayashi-Sensei, accompanied by his daughter, joined Hawayo Takata in Hawaii and they embarked on a lecture tour to promote the art of Reiki Healing.

1937 Reiki Ryoho Meeting

Chujiro Hayashi is seated at the end of the row behind her (to her left).
A copy of what appears to be the Reiki Principles hang on the large notice-board at the back of the room

The mis-spelt caption at the top of this photo should presumably read: 'Reiki Ryo Ho Kai (Reiki Treatment Association) 1937'

The two lines of white kanji (written from right to left) at the bottom of the photo
seem to read:
Reiki Ryoho Koushuu-kai* (enshuu)
o Bukkyo Sei-Nen Kai Gi

Reiki Treatment Training Meeting (practice)
at Buddhist Youth Friendly* Association


Credits: photo provided by Kenji Hamamoto from original copy in his private collection

- July 2013

As far as I recall, the first time I encountered a copy of this photo ( in fact a very very poor quality copy – presumably scanned from a very faded original), was in a discussion on one of the old Reiki forums, probably about ten or twelve years ago. (There had, I think been some suggestion that the photograph had originally been clipped from an old copy of a Hawaiian newspaper, but I have not been successful in verifying this fact.)

Then, some time later, I was fortunate enough to receive a better quality copy of this image, along with copies of other old images, from a lady named Shizuru Takei, who had in turn received them from her (western-style) Reiki teacher: Kenji Hamamoto.
[Shizuru also provided me with what was, at the time at least, the only English translation of a Japanese book on Reiki: "Iyashi no te", by Toshitaka Mochizuki.]

It would of course be ideal to have clearly documented/verifiable evidence as to the photographer, and any existing copyright on the image.
Sadly though, with old images, short of having photographer's details on the print itself, it is quite commonly the case that it is very difficult to prove who took the photograph and as a result, the original owner of the copyright – and for that matter whether or not the photograph might still be under copyright (this latter depending on how long ago the individual passed away).

Unfortunately, not having this information but perceiving the importance of this photograph, the only option was to simply credit the earliest known source I was aware of, i.e.: Kenji Hamamoto.

I feel that, for the Reiki community at large, this photo is important in that (particularly in the current climate where some factions of the Reiki community are seemingly intent on attempting to discredit, or at very least play down the importance and validity of, Takata-sensei's training,) it provides valuable 'supporting evidence' pertaining to Chujiro Hayashi's ongoing association with, and post-apprenticeship (or rather 'post-graduation') mentoring and support of, Hawayo Takata in her quest to bring Reiki Ryoho to the western world.

With a site as large as aetw.org, it is often difficult to keep track, but looking at archived internet records, I have had this image on site since at least early 2007, and since that time have credited Kenji Hamamoto as the source of the photo. (though not for ownership)

Recently I heard comments that the photograph (which has in the last year or so, also been published in a book by Reiki master Frank Petter) had previously been included in a small volume commonly referred to in the Reiki Alliance as the “Gray Book”.
Now while I have of course been aware of this latter publication - and have seen extracts from it over the years in other books, and in numerous Reiki manuals, and Reiki course-handouts - due to what has been described by some as a 'culture of misplaced secrecy' within the Reiki Alliance, direct access to copies of the 'Gray Book' itself is not generally available to Reiki folk who are not Alliance members.

It would be interesting to see evidence that the photograph was indeed included in the Gray Book, and importantly, if a credit for the photograph is included, and if so, if it is verifiable as the original photographer, or, as is often all there is to work with: if it is simply an acknowledgement of a recent source for the image.
[On this point, while I do not have a copy of the Gray Book, I do have a copy of another Alliance publication known as the Blue Book. There are photographs of Mikao Usui and Chujiro Hayashi in this latter booklet, which as we would expect, do not have original photographer credits.
Simply because an image is included in a book does not mean that the compiler of the volume necessarily holds copyright on the image, nor – it must also be stressed - that they are implying they hold the copyright.]

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