The founder of Reiki as natural healing is Mikao Usui (1865-1926). Though not much is known about Usui we know that he originated the system of healing after a mystical experience on Mount Kurama.
In 1922 Usui opened his first Reiki clinic. One of his students, Chujiro Hayashi, a retired naval officer, was seeking a way to serve others. He found Mikao Usui, was initiated by him, and became deeply involved in the practice of Reiki.
Dr. Hayashi founded a clinic in Tokyo where people could come for treatment and to learn Reiki. From the clinic there were practitioners who would go out and treat those who could not come to the clinic. He left records demonstrating that Reiki finds the source of the physical symptoms, fills the vibration or energy need, and restores the body to wholeness.
One day in 1935, a young woman from Hawaii was brought to the clinic by an employee of a surgical hospital in Tokyo. This woman, Hawayo Takata, had come to Japan to have an operation for a tumor. In the hospital as she prepared herself for the surgery, she had a sense that the operation was not necessary and that there was another way. She had been led to Reiki.
During Mrs. Takata’s experiences and treatments at the clinic, her illness lessened and her desire to learn Reiki grew. When her treatments were almost finished, she asked to be admitted to a beginning class. She was refused. She realized she must demonstrate a deep commitment to Reiki. She went to Dr. Hayashi and told him her feelings and her willingness to stay in Japan as long as was necessary. He consented to begin her training.
Mrs. Takata, with her two daughters, stayed in Japan with the Hayashi family for a year, learning by practicing Reiki every day and being with Hayashi. When both felt the training was completed, Mrs. Takata returned to Hawaii with her gift of healing.
In Hawaii her practice flourished and soon Hayashi and his daughter came to visit. They stayed several months, teaching, training, and being with Mrs. Takata. In February, 1938, Hawayo Takata was initiated as a master of the Usui system of natural healing. Soon after the initiation, Hayashi and his daughter returned to Japan. Hawayo Takata demonstrated her commitment throughout her life, teaching and practicing Reiki. She became a powerful healer and a great teacher, introducing the gift of Reiki to the western world.