The origins of Reiki could be said to be as old as human kind. Throughout human history there have been those who were known for their healing touch. This is something that we know little about and consider a gift. The particular form of this gift that we know of as the Usui System of Reiki Healing has its origins in the person of Mikao Usui, a Japanese gentleman who lived in the late 1800's and died in 1926.
As a teacher, he was challenged by his students about his unwavering faith in the reality of a healing force. It became his personal quest to be able to source this power as a help to mankind. Through years of scholarship, studying sacred scriptures of Christian and Buddhist origins, as well as living a life of personal prayer and meditation, Mikao Usui experienced a spiritual awakening or spiritual transmission that resulted in the creation of the system of healing we have received.
What we know has been passed on to us through a series of lineage bearers who have been guardians and preservers of the integrity of the practice. Chujiro Hayashi, a successor of Mikao Usui, practiced and taught in a clinical setting in Tokyo, Japan. It was to this clinic that a young Japanese-American, Hawayo Takata, was brought in 1932. Reiki healed her of the illnesses that had brought her to Japan. As a result of her healing she stayed in Japan for a year of training and practice in Usui Shiki Ryoho, the Usui System of Reiki Healing.
In 1937, Hawayo Takata became a Reiki Master in Usui Shiki Ryoho, a person empowered to teach Reiki to others. In that same year and for the first time, the Usui System of Reiki Healing was taught outside of Japan by Takata's teacher, Chujiro Hayashi. Mrs. Takata was chosen as Dr. Hayashi's successor and brought Reiki to the West.
Before her death in 1980, Mrs. Takata chose as her successor her granddaughter, Phyllis Lei Furumoto. Phyllis has spent the last 20 years sharing her understanding of the Usui System of Reiki with students and masters throughout the world. She is assisted in her work by Paul Mitchell.