History of Reiki Ryoho (Reiki Healing Art)

These are the verifiable, known facts of the origins of the healing art of Reiki.

The founder of Reiki Ryoho was Mikao Usui (pronounced OOH-swee), was born in 1865. We know that Mikao Usui Sensei attained enlightenment in March of 1922, at the age of 57, while meditating and fasting on Mount Kurama (Kurama-yama). Mt. Kurama is located north of Kyoto, the former capital city of Japan, where the Emperor once resided (794-1868).

Kurama-dera Temple Complex

Kurama-dera Temple is the main temple located on Kurama-yama. Founded in the year 770, it was Kurama-dera Temple where Mikao Usui Sensei’s 21-day fast and enlightenment experience took place.

According to legend, at this particular spot, marked by stonework in the photo below, for 12 hours each day, an energy vortex rotates counterclockwise with the energy of the Earth.

For the remaining 12 hours each day, the vortex changes direction, now rotating clockwise with the energy of Heaven. Stand on this spot at noon or midnight, and you may feel the change in direction for yourself.

Power spot in front of Kurama-Dera temple

Above: The famous energy vortex, or "power spot" is in the foreground, with the Honden (the temple's main hall) in the background


More About Kurama-dera Temple on Mt. Kurama



Mikao Usui's Memorial Stone (Translation courtesy of Hyakuten Inamoto)

One year after Usui Sensei's passing in 1926, his students, the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, dedicated a memorial stone to him in the cemetery where he was buried, outside of Tokyo. Here is the complete translation of that memorial.


Go Deeper Into Reiki History (Online)

James Deacon's Reiki Pages: https://www.aetw.org/

Justin B. Stein, historian of religion, with a forthcoming monograph "Alternate Currents: Reiki's Circulation in the Twentieth-Century North Pacific) (University of Hawaii Press, 2023  https://justinstein.academia.edu/

and Justin Stein on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JBSReikiResearch


Reiki History Books

Reiki: Transmissions of Light: Volume 1: The History and System of Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho by Robert Fueston

Foundations of Reiki Ryoho: A Manual of Shoden and Okuden by Nicholas Pearson