Dr. Mikao Usui, or Usui Sensei, as his students in Japan called him, rediscovered the lost art of Reiki and founded the Usui System of Reiki. He was born August 15, 1865 in the village of Yago in the Yamagata district of Gifu prefectute, Japan. He entered a Tendai Buddhist school on or near Mt. Kurama at age four. He studied kiko, the Japanese version of qigong, which is a health and healing discipline based on the development and use of life energy. As he would build up and deplete his own energy when giving treatments, he wondered if it was possible to do healing work without depleting one’s own energy. He studied medicine, psychology, religion and the science of divination and physiognomy, which Asians have long considered a worthy skill not only in Japan, but also in China and Europe. Thus, it is believed that his family was wealthy because only the wealthy in Japan could afford to send their children to school. He became the secretary to Pei Goutoushin, head of the department of health and welfare who later became the Mayor of Tokyo. Dr. Usui developed many political friendships, which helped him to become a successful businessman. He was also a member of the Rei Jyutu Ka, a metaphysical group dedicated to developing psychic abilities. Following years of scholarly study and learning Sanskrit to study the sutras, Dr. Usui received the Reiki attunements after a 21-day meditation retreat on Mt. Kurama. He taught Reiki to over 2,000 people and initiated sixteen Masters. The Japanese government issued him a Kun San To award for doing honorable work to help others. He died on March 9, 1926 at the age of 62. His body laid in state for one week, and people from all over Japan came to pay their respects.

Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was a commander in the Imperial Navy Reserve. He came from a family of well educated people who had considerable wealth and social status. While serving in the Navy, at the age of 45, Dr. Hayashi happened to be in a market place when he noticed Dr. Usui bearing a lighted torch and announcing his lecture at a nearby temple. As Dr. Hayashi listened to the lecture, he became intrigued and grew to believe in Dr. Usui; thus, he walked the countryside of Japan with Dr. Usui, healing the ill and crippled, and teaching them how to heal themselves. Dr. Hayashi received the Reiki Master initiation from Dr. Usui in 1925, at the age of 47. According to Mrs. Takata, Dr. Hayashi described Dr. Usui as ‘a brilliant genius—a great philosopher and a great scholar.’ Dr. Hayashi opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo and kept detailed records of the treatments given. He used this information to develop the Usui system of healing, which included the standard hand positions, the system of three degrees, and their initiation procedures. He initiated 13 Masters–the 13th Master being Hawayo Takata.

Hawayo Takata was born at dawn on December 24, 1900 in Kauai, Hawaii. She was so tiny that her mother decided to give her a ‘big’ name and thus, named her after the big island of Hawaii. Her parents were Japanese immigrants, and her father worked in the sugar cane fields, where she also worked as a child. She married the bookkeeper of the plantation where she was employed, Saichi Takata, and they had two daughters. In October of 1930, Saichi died of lung cancer at the age of 34. After five years, Mrs. Takata developed stomach tumors, asthma, appendicitis, and gallstones and had a nervous breakdown. Her 25-year-old sister died suddenly, and Hawayo traveled to Japan to inform her parents and to receive medical treatment. While on an operating table, prepared for surgery, she heard a voice say, ‘The operation is not necessary.’ She asked the surgeon what alternative she had other than surgery, and he said, ‘Reiki’. She entered Dr. Hayashi’s clinic, located across the street from the hospital, and in four months she was completely healed. In a bold move, Mrs. Takata petitioned the surgeon at the hospital who was going to perform her surgery, asking him to convince Dr. Hayashi that she should learn Reiki, although it was only taught to Japanese men. In the spring of 1936, Mrs. Takata received First Degree. She worked for Dr. Hayashi in the clinic for one year and then received Second Degree before returning to Hawaii. Dr. Hayashi visited her in 1938 to help establish Reiki in Hawaii, at which time she was initiated as a Master. Because of Dr. Hayashi’s psychic abilities, he foresaw World War II and asked that Mrs. Takata bring Reiki to the West. Mrs. Takata taught Reiki for 45 years and initiated 22 Masters.

Larry M Rosencrans, PhD., is one of the highest level Traditional & Japanese Reiki Masters. He has over 25 years of experience in healing modalities, which includes professional training, private practice, and teaching internationally. He received his Reiki First Degree from Mrs. Hawayo Takata in Hawaii en route to serving as a Green Beret in the Viet Nam war. Dr. Rosencrans has been a guest speaker for various health and medical groups, radio, and TV talk shows. He is a certified therapist, practitioner and lecturer in modalities such as: therapeutic massage, touch healing, craniosacral, polarity, energy balancing, breath work, meditation, aromatherapy, kinesiology, NLP, Hypnotherapy, Hemi Sync, The Silva Method as well as Reiki, Karuna, and Drisana.

Virginia W. Samdahl was the first Occidental to attain Reiki Mastership from Mrs. Takata. For many years, Virginia was involved in the study and use of psychic healing and prayer healing groups but intuitively knew that there was a better way to heal. That better way – Reiki – discovered her in 1974. She retired from teaching Reiki in 1989; however, she continued to offer her experience and love in support of Reiki and healing until she transitioned on March 4, 1994. She stated, ‘I believe that there is only one great Creative Force in the unvierse, which I call God. It is from this source that the universal life energy is made available to us; for in order for us to be whole and to perform God’s purpose for us here, we must be well. He has made this Reiki energy available to us so we can be as He meant us to be: perfect in body, mind and spirit.’

Dr. Carol A. Wilson, Professor of Health and Psychology, meditation teacher, Sound Healer, Reiki and Karuna Reiki® Master Teacher, aromatherapist and Feng Shui practitioner, utilizes a dynamic holistic mind-body-spirit approach to personal growth and healing. With 20 years of experience in the healing profession, she has successfully assisted hundreds of individuals rediscover their personal power–the inner power that leads to motivation, triumph over adversity, and attainment of goals. Listed in Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who’s Who of Women, and Who’s Who in American Education, Dr. Wilson is internationally and nationally recognized for her published medical research on mothers and daughters with and without premenstrual syndrome. Her background and experience includes a Ph.D. in Health Education (stress management) from the University of Utah and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology, awarded to her by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), a member of the International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP), a member of the American Association of Integrative Medicine (AAIM), and an honorary member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. Dr. Wilson is also a member of the Sound Healer’s Association (SHA) and is founder of Carol Wilson Organization, which includes a scholarship program for those who are terminally ill and disabled.