by Frank Arjava Petter
I have had the opportunity to live in Japan and teach Reiki classes here since 1993. With the help of my Japanese wife, Chetna and Shizuko Akimoto, a Japanese Reiki master I have had contact with several people who learned Reiki from Dr. Usui’s early students as well as members of Dr. Usui’s family and members of the Usui Shiki Ryoho of Tokyo. During these meetings we discussed the history of Reiki and how it is practiced in Japan. Through the benefit of these sources, I have learned many interesting things about Reiki that have not been known in the West.
For many years we all have been looking at Reiki history from a Western point of view. This story has had some limitations and because of cultural and language barriers between Japan and the West not many of the ideas in the Western story were able to be verified or explored. The life of Dr. Usui or Usui Sensei as he is called by his followers in Japan was one clouded in mists of a mystical character. Because of this, some misinformation about Usui Sensei and his life has developed. Recently the question of who the true successor of Usui Sensi is has come up again, and for that reason I would like to make things clear once and for all.
Since Usui Sensei died March 9th 1926, the Usui Shiki Ryoho, which he founded and presided over has had five sequential presidents - the true and only successors of Mikao Usui. The first successor was Mr. Ushida, who took over the responsibilities after Usui Sensei’s death. The second successor was Mr. Iichi Taketomi, the third Mr. Yoshiharu Watanabe, the fourth Mr. Wanami, and the present successor is Ms. Kimiko Koyama.
The titles "Grandmaster" or "Lineage Bearer" were not and are not in use in the Usui Shiki Ryoho or Usui Kai as it is now called. Consequently this title was never passed on to Mr. Chujiro Hayashi as is currently believed in the west. The only successor to Usui Sensei was Mr. Ushida in 1926. Mr. Hayashi was one of many respected disciples of Usui-Sensi, but not more and not less than that. In the old days disciples like Mr. Hayashi who were granted the teacher status by the president often had their own disciples. This is why there are so many different Reiki streams flowing all over Japan. However there is no question about Ms. Kimiko Koyama's leadership today.
The reason that the truth about the real successor of Usui-Sensei never came to the light in the West is rather simple. Years ago we heard on the phone from an Usui Kai member that they were not interested in "Reiki that comes from a foreign country". This attitude explains why the record was never officially set straight. Japanese people in general are very accepting, much more so than Westerners. When it rains it rains and when the sun shines, the sun shines. Regarding things that are happening abroad, the Japanese interest is usually nil. This goes for environmental destruction, international wars and politics and of course, Reiki and the untruths that are circulated about it. So much abuse has been perpetrated in the name of Reiki, that it is hardly surprising that the Japanese Usui Kai keeps its knowledge to itself. They just don’t want to be involved.
However, I am neither Japanese nor of passive character and I have a passion for the truth. That is why I would like to leave the above information with all of you. Reiki is pure energy no matter what label we put on it. There is neither a right nor a wrong Reiki. Energy does not have moral attributes and can never be owned by anyone. It is our human birthright and therefore free as the wind.
In this spirit of love, light and oneness I wish you all the best on your path to the light, from Japan with love.