This article was written and Copyright (c) 2002-3 by James Deacon, who's Master-level Reiki Healing Facilitator & Practitioner of Qi-Magnetic Therapeutics. See James' site: www.aetw.org. James Deacon does not necessarily endorse the methodology, techniques or philosophy of individual modalities detailed in his articles.
Make sure to read the part 1of the article, before proceeding.
Martial Artist and Tendai Buddhist, Chris states that, during a visit to Japan in June 2000, to complete some martial arts training, he was introduced to several people all having had connections with Mikao Usui, including a 107 year old Tendai nun referred to as: 'Suzuki-san', who was one of Usui Sensei's original students from 1915 to 1920. Chris was apparently also shown a number of artifacts related to Usui. On a further visit to Japan in June/July 2001 he claims to have been introduced to a further 11 very elderly students of Mikao Usui, including Buddhist monks and Nuns, Shinto followers and a farmer. Chris says he was also shown many of Usui's own papers including diaries, notes and precepts, all in his own handwriting. Apparently he was allowed to make handwritten copies of some of these documents and other copies were forwarded to him later. Chris's contacts apparently emphasise that Usui was Tendai until the end of his life, that the Reiki teachings were Buddhist in origin although they included some Shinto energy practices, and also that Usui Sensei did not really have a name for the system - the name used by Usui's students is 'Usui Teate' - 'Usui Hand Touch / Usui Hand Healing' and also 'Usui Do' - 'Usui Way' - that the name Reiki is not used or known by Usui's students. According to Chris, Reiju is the most important aspect of Usui-Sensei's teachings and as such is taught very late on in training. He says there are seven levels of shinpiden (the 'Master' degree) and reiju is taught at the sixth level.
(There seems to be some confusion regarding Suzuki-san: some sources claim she is a cousin (or even niece) of Sadoko Suzuki, Usui-Sensei's wife - yet others say she is Usui-Sensei's cousin). Born in 1895, Suzuki-san apparently began her training with Usui-Sensei when she was 20 years old. The focus of Usui-Sensei's teachings, according to Suzuki-san, was on self-realization. The ability to heal others was seen simply as a beneficial side effect of 'working on self', and not only was healing of others not central to the teachings but the whole approach to healing is different to that found in the system we know as 'Reiki'.
Dave King & Melissa Riggall
Dave King promotes what he refers to as Usui-Do - claiming this to be "an authentic reconstruction" of the "meditative, Spiritual system" of Mikao Usui. Melissa Rigall (died March 12, 2003) maintained that she has met several of Dr. Hayashi's students while in Japan, and both she and Dave claim to have met about a dozen of Usui Sensei's surviving students, including one who was more than 112 years old and a Buddhist nun aged 105 who was apparently trained to the second highest level by Usui Sensei. According to Dave, he and Melissa were taught Reiki (Rokudan level) by Yuji Onuki (who apparently trained to Shichidan level with Toshihiro Eguchi - a onetime friend and student of Usui-Sensei) in 1971 in Morocco. Dave says he spent time with Mr. Tatsumi, [said to be one of Hayashi-Sensei's Shichidan (Usui-Do) and Shinpiden (Hayashi Reiki) students], in rural Japan and achieved Usui-do shichidan (level 7) in 1995. He apparently learnt Tatsumi's attunement process and was allowed to trace copies of the four Reiki symbols in Hayashi's handwriting. Tatsumi died in October 1996 and is said to have left his complete set of master level notes for Dave and Melissa to review. Apparently Dave and Melissa also had Godan (3rd highest level in the original Usui-Do) conferred on them in October 2002 by from Mariko-Obaasan, a Tendai Buddhist nun whom, we are told - like Chris Marsh's 'Suzuki-san' - was one of Usui-Sensei's original students.
Recently (Autumn 2003) a number of people have begun to voice concerns as to the validity of the Usui-Do information propagated by Dave King. Mariko-Obaasan's accounts regarding early Reiki history, Mikao Usui, and the Reiki teachings have not been confirmed or verified. In fact, the very existence of Mariko-Obaasan is being questioned in some quarters, with the suggestion that the Mariko-Obaasan material may actually be - to put it diplomatically - 'channelled' information.
[However, in all fairness, it should be pointed out that concerns have also been voiced with regards to the 'Suzuki-san' material being taught by Chris Marsh, and indeed even the validity of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai information being circulated by Hiroshi Doi has been questioned.]
'Mariko-Obaasan' (AKA Tenon-in* )
Mariko-Obaasan, a Buddhist nun (age 105), apparently has no knowledge of UsuiSensei's experience on Kurama Yama, although she and her friend met him on Mt. Hiei (Headquarters of the Tendai sect) in 1920 and spent almost every day working with him, up to the time of his death in 1926. Apparently she says that Usui Sensei was not pro-Meiji; also that he was true to Tendai all his life, and made an offering every day to Amida Nyorai. According to Mariko-Obaasan, initially there were no levels or grades - students simply worked through a series of exercises until Usui-Sensei felt they were ready to proceed - then in 1923 Usui-Sensei introduced a grading system used by (Jigoro?) Kano. Thus the levels in the original Usui-Do system became: rokyu, gokyu, yankyu, sankyu, nikkyu (CKR symbol taught at this level), ikkyu (SHK symbol ), shodan (HSZSN symbol), nidan (DKM symbol), sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, shichidan (nanadan). Mariko-Obaasan reached the 2nd highest level of Rokudan (in Japan, women were traditionally not allowed to attain the highest levels in a given art).
Seemingly, Usui-Sensei's system was one focussing on spiritual growth and Mariko-Obaasan apparently has no knowledge of it having a healing component (i.e. in the sense of being a therapeutic modality for the treatment of others). [Mariko-Obaasan apparently died Sept 30, 2005 - aged 107]
* [ - the "in" of Tenon-In is a title for a nun who takes holy orders after the death of her husband (he had been killed in WW-I)]
Mrs. Chiyoko Yamaguchi [1921 - Aug. 19th 2003]
Mrs. Yamaguchi, founder of 'Jikiden Reiki', apparently taught exactly what she herself had been taught (as a Shoden & Okuden level student) by Hayashi-Sensei in 1938, when she was 17. She referred to Hayashi-Sensei's system as "Hayashi Shiki Reiki Ryoho" (Hayashi Style Reiki Healing Method), though the certificate she received is said to have had the name Hayashi Reiki Ryoho Kenkyu-kai (Research Center) on it. Mrs. Yamaguchi maintained that she was not taught any formal hand positions; she said she used have a number of notes (apparently copied from Hayashi-Sensei's - it was customary for students to copy their Teachers notes), which (along with her certificates?) were later lost in a fire in Manchuria. We are told Chiyoko Yamaguchi's uncle had invited Hayashi-Sensei to run a Shoden / Okuden class for approximately 20 students in their town, and apparently paid her tuition fee. While it had been claimed that Hayashi-Sensei returned at a later date to provide third level training and authorise her to teach Reiki, it is now said that she actually received Shimpiden level training from her uncle, Wasaburo Sugano, who had also been trained by Hayashi-sensei. While Mrs. Yamaguchi was not completely sure, she believed it possible that Hayashi-Sensei employed different teaching methods when providing classes outside the Capital than he did in his Tokyo Clinic.
Proceed to part 3.