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This version of the story was written by Mrs. Takata, but it is known today to be somewhat inaccurate (to say the least 🙂 ). The geopolitical circumstances after the Second World War might have had an impact, with the tension between U.S. and Japan.

This however doesn’t change the fact that it’s a beautiful story of courage, dedication, discovery, and very inspirational.

Mikao Usui

Mikao Usui

The Trigger

It was in the late 1800’s. Dr. Mikao Usui was teaching Theology at a University in Japan, pretty much going about his business, unknowable of the exquisite things life had in store for him and unaware of the impact his life would make on the planet.

One of his students asked:

“Professor, do you really, honestly, believe in the healing miracles performed by Jesus?”

“Yes,” was his reply.

“And did Christ say ‘You will do as I have done’?”


“Then, professor, how come there are not more healers in the world?”

This Dr. Usui could not answer. But he was bound by the Japanese honor, so he had to find the answer. He resigned from his function as a Dean and began his search.

The Search

He studied at the University of Chicago for seven years and obtained a doctorate in theology. But he found no answer.

Then he went to India and Tibet. There, he studied the ancient, sacred language of the Hindus – Sanskrit. But the answer was still not to be found.

Dr. Usui then returned to Japan. He started to study the teachings of Buddha, who, just as Jesus, had performed healing miracles. But the answer to the question that had started this quest was not within reach.

He went to stay in a Zen monastery. One day he asked one of the monks there if they knew how to heal.

“Not anymore,” was the monk’s reply.

In the monastery, he read Buddha’s teachings in Sanskrit – still no answer.

As he was meditating one day, his intuition told him that he’s getting close to finding the answer. Following his intuition, he went to a holy place on the mountain called KuriYama, near Kyoto, having made a decision to fast and meditate for 21 days.

The Keys

To count the days, he took 21 stones with him, and each day he would throw a stone down the mountain.

On the 21st day the entire mountain was engulfed by a mist so thick that he could not see anything. As he threw the last stone, a light appeared and came to him, like a lightning, and stroke him in his third eye… filling his entire vision with bubbles of light – white, gold, blue, and violet. Within each bubble were the Sanskrit characters which he had earlier discovered in earlier studies. He was told (by a voice) that these were the keys to healing and he is not to ever forget or lose them.

The Miracles

As he was returning to the village, on his way down from the mountain, he stubbed his toe badly. As he put his hands around it however, he found that it healed instantly.

As he entered the village, he went into an inn and ordered a full, normal meal. He went on to eat it, after a 21 days fast – but suffered no illness or other effects expected in such a situation. The girl serving the meal had a bad tooth pain, which Dr. Usui relieved by putting his hands on her face.

When he reached the monastery, there was a monk with a severe attack of arthritis. Which Dr. Usui also healed with his new power.

The Teachings

Dr. Usui spent his next seven years healing beggars, who could live normal lives again. He called the method “Reiki” (Universal Life Force Energy). Later he found that the beggars he healed returned to begging – and realized that they did not value the gift that was given to them for free. He concluded that an exchange of energy must take place in order to fully appreciate, and benefit from, the healing.

He formulated the Reiki principles and started teaching Reiki, which he did until 1926 when he passed away. He initiated 16 teachers. One of them, Dr. Chugiro Hayashi, set up the first clinic in Tokyo. War was coming – so Dr. Hayashi trained two women, as they had better chances to survive the war, then stopped his own heart by psychic means and died in 1941.

One of the women was Hawayo Takata, who took Reiki to Hawaii and trained 22 Reiki Masters before passing away in 1980. Currently there are thousands, if not millions, of Reiki Masters – the technology has made this possible. But it all started with Dr. Usui.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • LeeAnne Bennett August 30, 2013, 9:44 pm

    I have Takata telling this story on cassette. I think to it was a way to get a Buddhist based healing into the Christian west.

  • Robyn October 5, 2013, 4:23 pm

    My question is…if Dr Usui…initiated 16 teachers…who were the other 15? Why are they never spoken of…..just curious! Thanks…love and light!

    • Danijel Salijević Shihan July 16, 2014, 2:59 am

      Actually, there is one living student of Usui sensei. It is working in NY – sensei Hyakuten Inamoto

      • dan December 20, 2014, 7:35 am


        You assumed that Hyakuten Inamoto was trained by sensei Usui…and that is completly false. Hyakuten Inamoto was not born since sensei Usui was passed away at least 4 maybe 5 years before that. More than that Hyakuten Inamoto can not show a Reiki Master certificate….did you asking yourself why not ?

  • Randall October 5, 2013, 6:33 pm

    I had an interesting thought about this while reading the Hawayo Takata Story. What if she didn’t make it up? What if this is the story that Hayashi told her? There are many things in that book that suggested to me the Hayashi was doing whatever was necessary for Reiki to spread to the West after his death. Could this have been one of those?

  • Marion June 20, 2014, 2:20 pm

    Who are we to say what is inaccurate or the truth? We were not there in the days of Dr. Usui, Hayashi, and Takata so the truth may not be easily validated. Mrs. Takata expressed her truth based upon what information she received from her experiences and the benefit of other’s knowledge and experiences. We can be grateful that Reiki has made its way to the Western world, thanks to Mrs. Takata. All the stories may be different depending upon who shares them. There is not much information available by the way of written historical evidence. The primary method of communication was the word, and we all know how the word and intention can become changed with each downward sharing. The constant is the healing energy, intention, and Higher Good, and that no matter what, if intention and awareness is pure and heart-centered, that Reiki works.

  • Joe December 19, 2014, 9:27 pm

    People blindly believe the bible yet say that this isn’t true?

  • sridharbabut December 21, 2014, 6:31 am

    Reiki is the good healing technology

  • Iris Miller April 4, 2015, 3:03 pm

    It’s been several years since my Usui Reiki training but I’m pretty sure I had not heard the story told this way. Maybe ours was a condensed version? I think this extensive story make it seem like a fairy tale and not quite believable. I’m grateful to my Reiki Teacher for sticking to the facts in a shirt version, not an embellished story.

    • B January 25, 2016, 11:47 am

      This is actually how it was originally told to me and many others. Why you would not want to hear it like this is beyond me

  • Iris Miller April 4, 2015, 3:04 pm

    Correction. Short version. Not “shirt”.

  • Iris Miller April 4, 2015, 3:06 pm

    True. Intention. Awareness. A true heart.
    Thank you.

  • Irfan siddiqui Sheikh August 16, 2015, 7:09 am

    I am Reiki practitioner.Treating people with Reiki in a hospital and at my home also.works on special children,handicap children,back pain,joint pain,kidney stone,fits/strokes,brain tumor,many more diseases we heal.

    • Sam February 7, 2020, 9:46 pm

      Which hospital And country do you offer reiki in Irfan? I’d love to be able share this with our Reiki community. Thank you

  • Rupinder singh May 15, 2017, 3:41 am

    Hii all this story is real becoz I am a Reiki grandmaster based in India those who don’t believe in Reiki just once practice this and see the result. This is the thing which country can give you practical experince.

  • Hiren Patel February 26, 2018, 7:18 pm

    Hi, I am also reiki practitioner. I want to know, how to increase enery and i want to feel it so anybody can tell me how to do this
    Thank you

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