Usui Sensei’s Memorial Stone
Much of what we know of Usui Sensei's life is written on his memorial stone, at his gravesite in a Buddhist cemetery in Tokyo. The memorial was created by his students in 1927, one year after his passing.
Reiho Choso Usui Sensei Kudoku No Hi—
Memorial of the Merits of Usui Sensei, the Founder of Reiho (Reiki Ryoho)
Translated by Hyakuten Inamoto
That which is attained within oneself after having accumulated the fruits of disciplined study and training is called ‘Toku’ and that which can be offered to others after having spread a path of teaching and salvation is called ‘Koh.’ Only with high merits and great virtues can one be a great founding teacher. Sagacious and brilliant men of the olden time or the founders of new teachings and religious sects were all like that. Someone like Usui Sensei can be counted among them. Sensei newly founded the method based on Reiki of the universe to improve the mind and body. Having heard of his reputation all over, people crowded around to seek his teachings and treatments. Ah, how popular it is!
Sensei, commonly known by the name ‘Mikao,’ with an extra name (pseudonym) ‘Gyohan’ is from Taniai-mura (village) Yamagata-gun (county), Gifu-ken (prefecture). He is descended from Chiba Tsunetane. His father’s name was Taneuji and was commonly called Uzaemon. His mother was from the Kawai family.
Sensei was born on August 15 of the first year of Keio (C.E.1865). From his youth, he surpassed his fellows in hard work and endeavour.
When he grew up, he visited Europe and America and studied in China. Despite his will to succeed in life, he got stuck and fell into great difficulties. However, in the face of adversity he strove to train himself even more with the courage never to yield.
One day, he climbed Kurama-yama and after 21 days of a severe discipline without eating, he suddenly felt One Great Reiki over his head and attained enlightenment and he obtained Reiki Ryoho. Then, he tried it on himself and experimented on his family members. The efficacy was immediate. Sensei thought that it would be far better to offer it widely to the general public and share its benefits than just to improve the well-being of his own family members.
In April of the 11th year of Taisho (C.E.1922) he settled in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo and set up the Gakkai to teach Reiki Ryoho and give treatments. Even outside of the building it was full of pairs of shoes of the visitors who had come from far and near.
In September of the 12th year (C.E.1923) there was a great earthquake and a conflagration broke out. Everywhere there were groans of pains from the wounded. Sensei, feeling pity for them, went out every morning to go around the town, and he healed and saved an innumerable number of people. This is just a broad outline of his relief activities during such an emergency.
Later on, as the ‘dojo’ became too small, in February of the 14th year (C.E.1925) the new suburban house was built at Nakano according to divination.
Due to his respected and far-reaching reputation many people from local districts wished to invite him. Sensei, accepting the invitations, went to Kure and then to Hiroshima and Saga, and reached Fukuyama. Unexpectedly he became ill and passed away there. It was March 9 of the 15th year of Taisho (C.E.1926) aged 62.
His spouse was Suzuki, and was called Sadako. One boy and one girl were born. The boy was named Fuji and he succeeded to the family. Sensei’s personality was gentle and modest and he never behaved ostentatiously. His physique was large and sturdy. He always wore a contented smile. He was stout-hearted, tolerant and very prudent upon undertaking a task. He was by nature versatile and loved to read books. He engaged himself in history books, medical books, Buddhist scriptures, Christian scriptures and was well versed in psychology, Taoism, even in the art of divination, incantation, and physiognomy. Presumably Sensei’s background in the arts and sciences afforded him nourishment for his cultivation and discipline, and it was very obvious that it was this cultivation and discipline that became the key to the creation of Reiho (Reiki Ryoho).
On reflection, Reiho puts special emphasis not just on healing diseases but also on enjoying well-being in life with correcting the mind and making the body healthy with the use of an innate healing ability. Thus, before teaching, the ‘Ikun’ (admonition) of the Meiji Emperor should reverently be read and Five Precepts be chanted and kept them in mind mornings and evenings.
Firstly it reads, ‘Today do not anger,’ secondly it reads, ‘Do not worry,’ thirdly it reads ‘Be thankful,’ fourthly it reads, ‘Work with diligence,’ fifthly it reads, ‘Be kind to others.’
These are truly great teachings for cultivation and discipline that agree with those great teachings of the ancient sages and the wise. Sensei named these teachings ‘Mystic Art to Invite Happiness’ and ‘Miraculous Medicine to ‘Heal All Diseases;’ notice the outstanding features of the teachings.
Furthermore, when it comes to teaching, it should be as easy and common as possible, nothing lofty.
Another noted feature is that during sitting in silent meditation with gassho and reciting the Five Precepts mornings and evenings, the pure and healthy minds can be cultivated and put into practice in one’s daily routine. This is the reason why Reiho is easily obtained by anyone.
Recently the course of the world has shifted and a great change in thought has taken place. Fortunately with the spread of this Reiho, there will be many who can be helpful to the way of the world and the minds of people. How can it be for just the benefit of healing chronic diseases and longstanding complaints?
A little more than 2,000 people became students of Sensei. Those senior disciples living in Tokyo gathered at the dojo and carried on the work (of the late Sensei) and those who lived in local districts also spread the teachings.
Although Sensei is gone, Reiho should still be widely propagated in the world for a long time. Ah, how prominent and great Sensei is that he offers the teachings to people out there after having been enlightened within!
Of late the fellow disciples consulted with each other about building the stone memorial in a graveyard at Saihoji Temple in Toyotama-gun so as to honour his merits and to make them immortalized and I was asked to write it.
As I deeply submit to Sensei’s greatness and am happy for the very friendly teacher/disciple relationships among fellow students, I could not decline the request, and I wrote a summary in the hope that people in the future shall be reminded to look up at him in reverence.
February, the 2nd year of Showa (C.E.1927)
Okada Masayuki, Doctor of Literature
Ju-sanmi (subordinate 3rd rank),
Kun-santo (the 3rd Order of Merit)
Ushida Juzaburo, Navy Rear Admiral,
Ju-yonmi (subordinate 4th rank),
Kun-santo (the 3rd Order of Merit),
Ko-yonkyu (the distinguished service 4th class)