Andrew Bowling's REIKI HISTORY Archives

(formerly located at
From 1998 through 2006 Andy Bowling presented a web site detailed with Reiki History and facts.  When he discovered original teachings of Mikao Usui shared by Chris Marsh, he began to focus more in that direction.  In 2007 Andy decided to stop his Reiki History pages but gave me permission to host this archive at my web site. I hope you enjoy this original contribution to the Reiki world.

If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me.
Rick Rivard  (
December 2007

Copyright Info - Making Use of Threshold Web Pages

Ancestry of Usui Sensei

According to a Japanese Master:

'The Usui family crest was Moon and Stars, these were the symbols of 'Myoken Bodhisattva', the icons for Samurai and family crest of the Chiba's.'



Myoken (`wondrous seeing'), originally an Indian deity, is the divinised form of the Pole Star or Great Bear constellation and was believed to protect the country, avert disaster, lengthen the life span and (because of the name) avert eye diseases. In most cases Myoken was replaced by the officially-favoured Zoka no kami or `kami of creation', three deities from the age of the gods referred to in the Kojiki.


I have received two crests.

After the battle of Sekigahara (1601) the Chiba family split. One family went to Kyushu, the other went to Edo (Tokyo) under the Tokugawa regime.

One mark of the north star is straight up.

And as you can see the ones below are leaning to the left (Usui family). Same family but they have drifted apart through the centuries and do not keep in touch with each other.

The Chiba mark below is the Usui/Chiba family who went to Edo (Tokyo).

The Kanji below says - 'Chiba Shizoku - The Chiba Clan'

The Chiba mark, or family crest, is a circle with a dot at the top. The circle represents the universe, and the dot, which is the Japanese way to make a star, represents the north star. The north star never moves and the universe must move around it.  Note the connection between this and Myoken above.

This is the crest on the Grave Stone of Mikao Usui.

This is from a circular stone in front of the grave.
Behind this on the  marble grave stone the same crest is also carved.
See also memorial pages for pictures of grave.

The following information I have recently managed to obtain from websites and books.

CHIBA Toshitane  d.1559 (Killed)

Hojo retainer

Notes: Toshitane had submitted to the Hojo clan during the early 1550's; he was killed in a battle with Uesugi Kenshin.

This is taken from the Japanese - Sengoku Samurai Register.

The following information was also obtained from Japan:

Toshitane Chiba was killed in a battle for the Kanto Plains in 1559.

Previously in 1551 he took the City of 'USUI', I am told the clan may have changed it's name to Usui in honour of that victory, he fought against Uesugi Kenshin (above).
It is customary only in the samurai tradition to take a new surname after death, this would normaly be taken by a younger son who would then start a new lineage.

Additional Usui Clan information..

Usui Family

Usui family is the oldest of Chiba families, Usui was divided from Chiba family in the end of Heian era.

The name 'Usui' means 'Morning Star'.

Shina family, Soma family, and Osuga family are the powerful families in Chiba families, but Usui family has an older history than they have.

After Shirai-family, and others, which had divided from Chiba family at the same time as the Usui family had, became less prosperous,  the Usui family was still prosperous and based on the Usui castle, Usui-sho in Inaba-gun (maybe a translation problem with this name), the place is currently Sakura-shi, Chiba-ken.

Usui castle had branch castles such as Shizu(?) castle, Iwato castle, and Shito(?) castle and the Usui family kept those castle by sending Usui family members and key vassals to man them.

My thanks to Dave King for his kind translation of the following:

Usui Tsuneyasu 1106 - 1168

Founder of the Usui clan. His nickname was Rokuro (maybe Mutsuo) and also Usui Tsuneyasu.

His father was Shimofusa Gonsuke also called Heijou.

Usually Shimofusa Gonsuke is a name for sons being from a high-class background, he sent Tsuneyasu to Inba District, Usui village, Sakura City, the Usui home town, for a new post to develop the area.

With someone called "Shinbo usual member" possibly a son of Tsuneyasu, it is thought that a development of a {reed+field} Shinbo Mikuriya (part of Funahashi City, Shinbo Town of Yachiyo City) was also formed by Tsuneyasu.

At the start of the Kamakura period, documents mention "Usui village" and "Usui County".

They show a jurisdiction that became the demesne of an aristocrat.

It was written that "Usui Katsuo" created the 'Chiba form' in the Kamakura years.

However from Usui village, till the end of the Kamakura period, Chiba of Muromachi provided materials and a laborer for the construction of the Katori Shrine that made him lord of the manor for Kamakura period.

It is thought that "Usui village" is the village of Usui Shonai.

Another Chiba:

It concerns Harutane Chiba, a recent descendant of the clan who was a kendo sensei.

The original Chiba samurai clan supported Minamoto Yoritomo in the Gempei War of AD1180-1185. After his victory he became shogun and the Chiba were rewarded along with his other allies. They retained their prominence through the 13th and 14th Centuries.

The Chiba clan was one of the most famous and influential samurai families in all of Japan. According to Chiba families' recorded documents, over 750 years ago Chiba's ancestors were very powerful warriors.


The following information gives notice that 'Usui City'  existed and is taken from the Sengoku Samurai Register.

You will note that it is mentioned twice, this is given simply to show that the place existed.

UESUGI Kenshin  1530-1578 (Died of illness)

Daimyo of Echigo  Ruled: 1547-1578

Castle: Kasugayama (Echigo)    Titles: Kanto - kanrei (1561), Danjô no Shôhitsu

Battles: Tochio (1544), Shimohama (1547), Sanjô (1549), 1st Kawanakajima (Battle of Fuse, 1553), 2nd Kawanakajima (Battle of Saigawa, 1555), War with the Hojo (1552, 1560-1567, 1569, 1570, 1571, 1574), 3rd Kawanakajima (1557), Umabayashi (1560), Odawara (1561), 4th Kawanakajima (1561), 5th Kawanakajima (1564), Usui (1566), Iimori (1570), Ishikura (1571), Tonegawa (1571), Etchû Camapign (1572), Anamizu (1577), Nanao (1577), Tedorigawa (1577) Notes: Kenshin wrested control of Echigo from his elder brother Harukage in 1547; he gave shelter to Uesugi Norimasa on the grounds that Uesugi adopt him as heir (1551); he responded to requests for assistance from Murakami and Ogasawara, Shinano warlords pressed by Takeda Shinge; he fought a series of battles with Shingen at Kawanakajima and raided the Hôjô lands (particulary northern Musashi) 12 times, besieging Odawara in 1561 and reaching as far as Usui in Shimosa province in 1566; he visited the shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru in 1553 and in 1561 recieved the title of Kanto - kanrei, a traditional Uesugi post; he allied with okugawa Ieyasu against Takeda Shingen and for a time communicated with Oda Nobunaga; in 1577 he expanded into Noto and Kaga, defeating Nobunaga's army at the Tedori River in the latter province; he was preparing another expedition (either against Hojo or Oda) when he fell mortally ill and died; a skilled warrior, Kenshin also invested much effort into the improvement of Echigo's economic powerbase; he was a devout Buddhist monk and is said to have abstained from women throughout his life, though not from drink, of Sons: Kagekatsu (Adopted, H), Kagetora Adopted)