top of page


Dr. Mikao Usui

Reiki founders.png

The Legend of Reiki excerpt provided by 'The Complete Reiki Tutor' - Tanmaya Honervogt

Reiki was discovered at the end of the 19th century by Japanese Priest, Dr. Mikao Usui who was a Christian minister and president of a small university in Tokyo. One day he was challenged by some of his students who asked him if he believed in the healing miracles of Jesus, and whether he could demonstrate such a healing. Usui had no answer, but this led to many years of dedication to find out how Jesus and Buddha had been able to heal. On that quest he studied Christian and Buddhist scriptures and Sanskrit - the ancient sacred Indian language.

Dr. Usui spent a considerable amount of time studying and meditating and embarked on a 21-day meditation and fast on the holy mountain, Mount Kurama. On the last day he entered an awakened state of consciousness, achieving enlightenment. He saw the symbols he had earlier noticed in the Buddhist scriptures. He received an empowerment and was charged with a powerful healing force. Suddenly, the application, knowledge and meaning of the symbols and mantras became clear to him. The legend continues that Usui saw a shining light in the sky moving rapidly towards him; it struck him in the middle of his forehead (third-eye) and he found himself in a state of expanded consciousness. Upon his decent from the mountain Usui injured his foot, causing the toe to throb and bleed. When he held his hands around his foot, the bleeding immediately stopped and the pain dissipated. This was his first experience of spontaneous, rapid healing.

In 1922 Usui opened his first Reiki clinic in Tokyo. Many people came for treatment and he started giving workshops to share his knowledge. in 1923 there was a devastating earthquake, in which thousands of people were killed, injured or became sick afterwards. Usui gave Reiki to many and the Meiji emperor honored him for his work. He became renowned throughout Japan for his wisdom, knowledge, compassion and remarkable healing skills.

The emphasis of Usui's teaching was not just on physical healing, but also on spiritual awakening. He stressed the importance of living a sincere and spiritual life and adopted 'Principles of Life' from the Meiji emperor, using them as a foundation for his healing work and as guidelines for life. While he was travelling through Japan, teaching and lecturing about Reiki, Usui had a stroke and died at the age of 61. A few years before his death however, Usui passed his knowledge and teachings to Dr. Chujiro Hayashi (1879-1940), a retired naval officer. Dr Hayashi founded a Reiki clinic in Tokyo that was open to everyone who wanted to receive treatment or learn Reiki. Hayashi left records demonstrating that Reiki reaches the source of the physical symptoms, fills the body with the required energy and restores it to wholeness.

A young Japanese woman, Hawayo Takata (1900-1980), who was suffering from a number of serious disorders, including a tumor, followed an inner call not to have an operation, but to seek healing in Japan. While visiting relatives she heard about Hayashi's Reiki clinic and went for several months of treatment, a result of which she was cured. She was so impressed that she begged Hayashi to teach her Reiki and he agreed. She became his student and stayed with him for a year, after which she returned to her home in Hawaii where she opened the first Reiki clinic in the West. in 1938 Hayashi visited Takata and passed on to her the final teachings (the Master level) so that she could teach others. By her death she had trained 22 Reiki Masters.

Through them Reiki spread widely and became known throughout the Western world.

bottom of page