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

The Usui Memorial

This translation  is taken from the book ' Iyashi No Gendai Reiki Ho'  - 'Modern Reiki Method for Healing'

written by Mr. Hiroshi Doi. and translated for Vancouver workshop 1999.
- "Mikao Usui", the founder of Reiki 

As the story of the founder, Master Usui himself, is passed on as semi-legendary, not much detail is known . Especially when Reiki-ho went overseas, many stories were created while spreading from it's base in the United States. The trustworthy record is the epitaph of "Master Usui" in Bodhi temple (Tokyo). This was built in February 1927, the following year after his death, by some of his over 2000 pupils. The following is its interpretation into modern days by myself. 

What you can naturally realize through cultivation and training is called "VIRTUE", and it is called "MERIT" to spread a method of leadership and relief and practice it. It is people of many merits and a good deal of virtue that can be eventually called a great founder. People who started a new learning and founded a fresh sect among sages, philosophers, geniuses etc., named from the ancient times, were all those as mentioned above. We can say that Usui Sensei is also one of those people. 

He started newly a method to improve body and spirit based on REIKI in the universe. Hearing of the rumor, people who would like to learn the treatment and undergo the cure gathered from all quarters at one time. Really, it was a very busy indeed. 

Usui Sensei, whose popular name is Mikao and whose pen name is Gyohan, came from Taniai-village, Yamagata-district, Gifu Prefecture, and had forefathers named Tsunetane Chiba who had played an active part as a military commander between the end of Heian Period and the beginning of Kamakura Period (1180-1230). His father's real name is Taneuji and his popular name is Uzaemon. His mother came from the family named Kawai. (see Usui pages for information on Chiba ancestor) 

Usui Sensei was born on 15th August, 1865. Having learned under difficulties in his childhood, he studied hard with efforts and he was by far superior in ability to his friends.

After growing up, he went over to Europe and America, and also studied in China. In spite of his real ability, however, he was not always successful in life. Although so often he was compelled to lead an unfortunate and poor life, he strove much more than before to harden his body and mind without flinching from the difficulties. 

One day, Usui Sensei climbed Mt. Kurama, where he began to do penance while fasting. Suddenly on the twenty first day from the start, he felt a great REIKI over his head, and at the same time as he was spiritually awakened he acquired the REIKI cure. When he tried it on his own body and also members of his family, it brought an immediate result on them. 

Having said "It is much better to give this power widely to a lot of people in the world and enjoy it among them than to keep it exclusively by his family members." Usui Sensei moved his dwelling to Aoyama Harajuku, Tokyo in April, 1922 and established an institute, where the REIKI cure was instructed openly to the public and the treatment was given, also. People came there from far and near to ask for his guidance and cure, and they overflowed outside, making a long line. 

Tokyo had a very big fire caused by a great earthquake in Kanto district in September, 1923, when the people suffered from injury and sick pains all over the area. Usui Sensei felt a deep anxiety about that, and he was engaged in a cure, going around inside the city every day. We can hardly calculate how many persons were saved from death with his devotion. His activities of relief, in which he extended his hands of love over to those suffering people against this emergency situation, can be outlined as noted above. 

Thereafter, his training center became too small to receive the visitors, so he built a new house in Nakano outside the city in February 1925 and transferred there. As his reputation got higher and higher, it was very often that he received offers of engagements from everywhere throughout the nation. In accordance with these requests he traveled to Kure and Hiroshima, then entered Saga and reached Fukuyama. It was at the inn at which he stayed on his way that he caught a disease abruptly, and he passed away at the age of sixty-two. 

His wife came from the Suzuki family, and she is named Sadako and has a son and a daughter. The son's name is Fuji, and he succeeds to the Usui family. Usui Sensei's natural character was gentle and prudent, and he did not keep up appearances. His body was big and sturdy, and his face was always beaming with a smile. But when he faced the difficulties he went ahead with a definite will and yet persevered well, keeping extremely careful. He was a man of versatile talents and also a book lover, knowing well in the wide range from history, biography, medical science, canons of Christianity & Buddhism and psychology up to magic of fairyland, art of curse, science of divination and physiognomy. 

In my opinion, it is evident to everybody that Usui Sensei's cultivation & training were based on his career of art and science, and the cultivation & training became a clue to create the REIKI cure. 

Reviewing the fact, I understand what the REIKI cure is aiming at is not only to heal the diseases but also to correct the mind by virtue of a God-sent spiritual ability, keep the body healthy and enjoy a welfare of life. In teaching the persons, therefore, we are supposed to first let them realize the last instructions of the Emperor Meiji, and chant the 5 admonitions morning and evening to keep them in mind. 

The 5 admonitions in question are:

1. Don't get angry today.

2. Don't be grievous.

3. Express your thanks.

4. Be diligent in your business.

5. Be kind to others.

These are really the important precepts for a civilization, just the same as those by which the ancient sages admonished themselves. Usui Sensei emphasized that "This is surely a secret process to bring a good fortune and also a miraculous medicine to remedy all kinds of diseases", by which he made his purpose of teaching clear and accurate. Furthermore, he tried to aim at making his way of guidance as easy and simple as possible, so nothing is difficult to understand therein. Every time when you sit quietly and join your hands to pray and chant morning and evening, you can develop a pure and sound mind, and there is just an essence in making the most of that for your daily life. This is the reason why the REIKI cure can very easily spread over anybody. 

The phase of life is very changeable in these days, and people's thoughts are apt to change, too. Could we fortunately succeed in spreading the REIKI cure everywhere, we feel sure that it would be very helpful in order to prevent people from disordering their moral sense. It never extends people nothing but the benefits of healing long term illness, chronic disease and bad habit.

The number of pupils who learned from Usui Sensei amounts to more than 2000 persons. Some leading pupils living in Tokyo are among them and gather at the training center and take over his work, while other pupils in the country also do everything to popularize the REIKI cure. Although our teacher already passed away, we have to do the very best to hand the REIKI cure down to the public forever and spread it much more. Ah! What a great thing he did; to have unsparingly given people what he had felt and realized by himself!

As a result of our pupils' recent meeting and discussion, we decided to erect a stone monument at the graveyard in his family temple so that we may bring his virtuous deed to light and transmit it to posterity; so, I was requested to arrange an epitaph for the monument. As I was much impressed by his great meritorious deed and also struck by our pupils' warm heart of making much of the bond between master and pupil, I dared not refuse the request, but described the outline. 

Therefore, I do expect heartily that people in future generations would not forget to look up at the monument in open-eyed wonder. 

In February, 1927

Edited by Masayuki Okada,

The Junior 3rd Rank, the 3rd Order of Merit, 

Doctor of Literature

Written by Juzaburo Ushida,

The Junior 4th Rank, the 3rd Order of Merit, the 4th Class of Services,

Rear Admiral


(Translated into modern Japanese language by Hiroshi Doi, Ashiya City, on 1st January, 1998) 

(Translated into English language by Tetsuyuki Ono, Takarazuka City, on 19th June, 1998) 


Please note that other translations are available at Threshold and in Frank Arjava Petter's book 'Reiki Fire'. 

Usui's Grave                 -              Usui Memorial                -                  Usui's Son 


Usui Grave (note the Usui/Chiba crest)    -     Kannon at entrance to the Temple  grounds  -     Deity's at entrance