Reiki was founded by a Japanese Buddhist man named Mikao Usui Sensei in March 1922. He attained enlightenment and his healing ability when meditating and fasting for twenty one days on Mount Kurama in Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan. He was fifty seven years old at the time. Mikao Usui Sensei thought that this wonderful gift of healing should be shared with the world, not kept to himself, therefore he opened the “Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai” in Aoyama , Tokyo in April of 1922. “Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai” translates to “Universal Healing Method Academic Association”
In 1925 he relocated to Nakano, a suburb of Tokyo, so that he could expand his healing work. Due to his growing nation-wide fame, he was often invited to teach Reiki in local prefectures around Japan such as Saga, Kyushu and Hiroshima.
He passed away on March 9th, 1926 while traveling in Fukuyama, Hiroshima prefecture. Usui’s memorial stone and gravesite are located at Saihoji Temple in Tokyo. Saihoji Temple is a member of the Jodu-Shu or Pure Land sect of Japanese Buddhism.
In the short four years that Usui Sensei was practicing and teaching Reiki since he discovered it, he taught two thousand students. Namely, some of his students who became influential teachers were Chujiro Hayashi, Chiyoko Yamaguchi, Hyakuten Inamoto, and Hawayo Takata, who have all gone on to teach many more students, allowing Reiki to be more widespread throughout the world.
Today, the popularity of Reiki is still growing and the gift of healing is readily available to everyone.