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Reiki History Time-Line: Part 1

About the Author

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.

Reiki History Time-Line: Part 1

What follows is a basic 'Timeline' - setting currently accepted (2003/4) Reiki-related-events (from the birth of Mikao Usui, to the death of Chujiro Hayashi) in the broader context of Japanese society at the time.

Aug 15
 Mikao Usui born in the village of Taniai, Gifu Prefecture, Japan.
Apr 25, 1867   Tokyo opened for foreign trade
1867  With the assistance of a gun-carrying Samurai named Ryoma Sakamoto, the feudal government system was toppled and the Tokugawa Shogunate gave up power.
1868 Beginning of Meiji period)
1869  Emperor relocated Japan's Capital from Kyoto to Edo, renamed Tokyo ("Eastern Capital")
1869 Mikao Usui believed by some to have been sent to a Tendai Monastery School
Feb 3
 Proclamation of the Great Doctrine which restored Shinto - also known as: Kami no Michi ('the Way of the Kami') as the guiding principle of the nation. Every Japanese citizen required to register at the Shrine of the local Kami of his residence - i.e. the local Shinto Temple (not at Buddhist Temples, as is mistakenly stated by several Reiki researchers)

Jun 27

 The Yen became the new form of currency in Japan.
1871 Samurai class banned from carrying swords
Apr 1872  An Imperial Edict gives state permission for Buddhist monks to eat meat, grow their hair, marry and have children, take on a family name, and to refrain from wearing robes except when performing services
1873 Centuries-old ban on Christianity lifted, and compulsory registration at local Shinto shrines was terminated after vigorous criticism from many
Apr 11 1873 Toshihiro Eguchi born in Kumamoto
1877 Last Revolt by the Samurai class is quelled
1877/78 It is said by some that at the age of 12 Usui-Sensei began martial arts training - studying either 'Yagyu Ryu' or 'Yagyu Shinkage Ryu' - martial arts incorporating Ken-Jutsu (swordsmanship) and Ju-jutsu (unarmed combat). He would go on to gain his Menkyo Kaiden (teachers/full licence) in his 20's.
Sept 15, 1880 Chujiro Hayashi born in Tokyo
1882  The central Bank of Japan was established.
Dec.14, 1883The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, born
Apr 4, 1884   Isoroku Yamamoto was born. As a Japanese Naval Commander, he would go on to mastermind the attack on Pearl Harbour.
Feb 9, 1885  The first Japanese arrived in Hawaii.
1887 Chujiro Hayashi's wife, Chie born
1888-92 It had been claimed by some that during this period (- apparently as a result of a Cholera-induced, profound near-death experience in which he is said to have received visions of Mahavairochana Buddha) Usui-Sensei converted from Tendai to the other Major Branch of Japanese Mikkyo (Esoteric) Buddhism - the Shingon school [ - however, the source of this information has recently been exposed as having fabricated a considerable amount of supposed 'original' Reiki information and documents.]
Jul 23, 1894  Korean Imperial Palace in Seoul taken over byJapanese troops.
1894/5 Sino-Japanese War
Apr23, 1895  Russia, France, and Germany forced Japan to return the Liaodong peninsula to China.
1899  Japanese Government passed a statute discriminating against the northern Ainu people.
Dec 24
 Hawayo Kawamuru (later: Takata) born in Hanamaulu, Kauai, Hawaii.
APR 29, 1901  Hirohito, future Emperor of Japan, born.
  Japan formed an alliance with England.
Dec1902.  Chujiro Hayashi graduated at the Japanese Naval Academy
1904 Tenko Nishida founded the Spiritual Community known as Ittôen
1904/5   Russo-Japanese War
1906 Kimiko Koyama born. We are told that from 1975 to1999, Kimiko Koyama was the 6th President of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai , the first woman to hold the position
190? Mikao Usui married Sadako Suzuki
Feb 24, 1908  Japan officially agreed to restrict immigration to the U.S.
1908Morihei Ueshiba, in his 20's, received his Menkyo Kaiden (full license) in Gotoha Yagyu Shingan Ryu.- a martial arts style in the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu lineage
1908 Usui-Sensei's son, Fuji (1908-1946) born
 The Omoto Kyo spiritual group published the first issue of their magazine entitled: Chokurei-gun ("Direct-Spirit Army" or "Spirit direct [from Kami/God] Army")
Having practiced Zen disciplines for many years, Shoseki Kaneko experienced a 'minor enlightenment' and as a result began to manifest healing abilities.
1910 Japan officially annexed Korea.
1911 Seitosha - first Japanese feminist group founded in this year
1912 Death of the Meiji Emperor. Prince Yoshihito became the Taisho Emperor
1913 Usui-Sensei's daughter, Toshiko, born
Aug 23
 Japan joined the Allied side in World War I, declaring war on Germany

Possible date when Usui-Sensei received the Reiki ability??. This is apparently the date given in 2 different Japanese books on Reiki?? &, according to Dave King of Usui-Do, is the date cited by Tatsumi-san [said to have been one of Hayashi-Sensei's students]

Jan, 1915  Japan took over economic control of China
1915 A Tendai Buddhist nun referred to as: 'Suzuki San', so it is claimed, becomes one of Usui Sensei's student, remaining with him until 1920
 A book entitled Kenzen no Genri (Health Principles), written by a Dr. Bizan (or Miyama?) Suzuki, includes the admonition:
"Just for today, do not anger (others), do not fear, work hard, be honest, and be kind to others."
This is almost certainly the direct source of Usui Sensei's Five Reiki Principles.
[There may have been an earlier edition of this book published in Dec.1914]
1915 Tamai Tempaku, a practitioner of the ancient art of Ampuku (abdominal massage) and student of Chinese acupoint therapy, published the first book describing his newly developed therapeutic modality, which he named 'Shiatsu'.
In the volume entitled: Shiatsu Ryoho (“Finger Pressure Method of Healing”) Tamai described the treatment of pathological conditions identified by modern Western medicine using his Shiatsu Ryoho which integrated traditional therapies, spiritual wisdom, and western models of anatomy and physiology.
1917 Gichin Funakoshi first introduced the Okinawan Martial art of te (or naha-te) to the Japanese mainland. The art is better known today as Karate
1917 Hawayo Kawamuru and Saichi Takata married
1918  Chujiro Hayashi appointed Director of Ominato Port Defense Station, at the foot of Mt Osore, Northern Japan.
1918  Japan's first Parliamentary Cabinet formed.
1918/19 Usui-Sensei said to have begun 3 year training in Zen.
1919Morihei Tanaka published: "Taireido: A new revelation showing the true system of life"
It had been suggested that Usui-sensei may have been student of Tanaka's, or at least have been influenced by his teachings.
The term: Taireido has been translated as 'The Great Spirit-Way'
1919 A therapist named Mataji Kawakami (?) published a book entitled: Reiki Ryoho To Sono Koka (Reiki Ryoho & Its Effects)
This book was not about 'Usui Reiki Ryoho'.
It seems that the term Reiki Ryoho (indicating 'Spiritual Healing') was used by several therapists, before Usui-Sensei, to describe their practices.
1920 According to Dave King, a woman now referred to as Mariko-Obaasan (- a Tendai Buddhist Nun) and her friend apparently met Usui-Sensei on Mt. Hiei (Headquarters of the Tendai sect). It is claimed that she spent almost every day from then on working with him, up to the time of his death [Note: Obaasan means grandmother and is simply a term of respect, not part of a name]
1920 Mrs Chiyoko Yamaguchi (founder of Jikiden Reiki) born
1920/21  Toshihiro Eguchi, a friend of Usui-Sensei spent several months working and studying with Usui-Sensei
1921  Usui-Sensei believed to have begun working as secretary to Goto Shinpei, head of the Department of Health and Welfare, who had from 1898 to 1906 been head of the civil administration of Taiwan, and would later (1922) become the Mayor of Tokyo.
April 1921 Usui Sensei believed to have incorporated the gokai (the 'five principles' or 'precepts') into his teachings.
Nov 25, 1921  Hirohito became Regent of Japan.
March 1922 Possible date when Usui-Sensei received the Reiki ability??
Kurama Yama (MT Kurama), about a 30 minute train ride from the old capital of Kyoto, is said to be the mountain in where Mikao Usui carried out his 21-day meditation, and on the 21st day experienced the phenomenon that is Reiki.
[However, others have previously suggested that it was in fact Koya Yama (MT Koya) and not Kurama Yama which was the place.]
Whatever the case, prior to this date, Usui-Sensei is said to have been practicing and teaching his own personal system of self -development involving [so it is claimed] teachings which, while Buddhist in origin, are said to have included some 'Shinto energy practices'.
[However, research in progress (2006) would seem to indicate that Usui-sensei's system may actually have been strongly influenced by the philosophy of the Omoto Kyo spiritual group]
Apparently he did not really have a name for the system -though it is referred to by some as: 'Usui Do' - 'Usui Way'
April 1922 Usui-Sensei opened his first training centre (some call it a "clinic") in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo.
His 'motto' for the training centre was:
"Unity of self through harmony and balance".
It is also claimed by some that Usui-Sensei founded Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning Society) at this time, though others maintain that the Gakkai was actually founded by a number of his senior students sometime after Usui-Sensei's death.
1922 Usui-Sensei supposed to have used the Reiju empowerment method for the first time in Harajuku, Tokyo.
Nov 17th, 1922 Albert Einstein and his second wife, Elsa arrived in Japan. Staying in the country till 22nd December, he visited several Imperial Universities, lecturing on the theory of relativity. [While on route to Japan Einstein learned that he had been awarded the Nobel Physics Prize]
1923 Usui-Sensei said to have introduced a grading system used by Jigoro Kano (creator of Judo). 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).
This format was in use up until late 1925
1923 Toshihiro Eguchi returned to the training centre to practice his own te-no-hira (palm healing) system which apparently incorporated elements of Usui-sensei's teachings. Eguchi's system had religious overtones and included a form of blessing ceremony that Eguchi had learned from his friend Tenko Nishida - founder of the Ittoen Community
Usui-Sensei, it seems, was somewhat uncomfortable with Eguchi's approach but eventually permitted Eguchi to teach at the centre on a twice-weekly basis. He was allowed to perform the blessing ceremony, but apparently not allowed to chant a prayer element known as the Komyo Kigan .

Proceed to part 2.

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