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I was working on a private project concerning the Usui Gainen (the concepts also known as the Reiki precepts or principles) when something suddenly occurred to me.
The term Usui Reiki Ryoho
to the main concepts of the original Usui document. The Usui Reiki
Gakkai (the old Reiki society) refers to them as the Gokai. If
look at the original wall hanging and a translation it reads something
At the Usui Reiki Ryoho International conference in Toronto in 2002, I asked Dave King of Usui-Do Eidan to give a presentation on his experiences with some of the students of Usui, Eguchi and Hayashi who are still alive, and on the original Usui-Do system. He mentioned this to Tenon-in (aka Mariko-Obaasan) who is the highest ranking living student of O-Sensei. In return she passed on some comments and information about the times she and her friends spent with Usui Sensei from 1920 to 1926.
Here was one quote:
(Note: For info
At URRI, Dave also spoke a little
some of the interesting "coincidences" he has experienced in his Reiki
life, including this incident in the early 1990s after he had move to
When I asked Dave about the size
original he said:
(The blue image to the right is a modern full sized reproduction from a photo of the original, and silk screened on the same paper still being made in Japan. It was laid out by Japanese on a modern kakejiku. I have a copy of this version.)
"kakejiku" is a
hanging scroll used for mounting pieces of Japanese calligraphy of
For information on the Japanese measurement system (including "sun") see
Another interesting note about the affirmations is that they actually help to define the term "Reiki" as used by O-Sensei (Usui Sensei). If you have assisted with translation of Japanese material you will know that you cannot simply look up Japanese words in a dictionary and get an accurate meaning. Their true meaning depends on the context in which they are used.
For many years people have simply
"Reiki" by the independent translation of the words "rei" and
(Can you imagine translating the French word "chateau" by lookig up the words "chat" (cat) and "eau" (water) ?)
In 1995/96 Dave King and Melissa Riggall met a senior student of Dr. Hayashi named Tatsumi. He had trained with Hayashi-sensei from 1927 to 1931, completing the hand healing system as well as the original Usui-Do spiritual system to the highest levels (beyond what we think of as Shinpiden, to Shichidan).
Melissa actually lived with the Tatsumi family for a month and learned the complete Usui-Do system. Both she and Dave were granted the highest level of Shichidan. One day Melissa pointed to a photo of the original affirmations in Tatsumi-san's house. She noted the term "Reiki" and said that this was how the West referred to the hand healing system. Tatsumi-san said that the healing was simply referred to as te-ate (hand healing), and that by using the term "reiki," O-Sensei had been referring to his ancestors.
Dave explained "Usui Reiki Ryoho"
detail to me saying
I had always wondered why that simple phrase "Usui Reiki Ryoho" had stood out for me in the past (I use it as a backdrop for my Reiki web pages) and I think I now have a better appreciation.
The personal project I mentioned at the beginning was to recreate the affirmations in their original size, paper and hanging. In the process of doing so I was surprised to discover that Dave had just done exactly that. When I first saw my own copy in their full size I found I was staring a them in awe - something had grabbed ahold of me and had me rooted to them. I almost felt like I was right there watching O-Sensei brush the entire work before me. I had been reading recently about the art of Shodo or Japanese calligraphy, which like other well known disciplines like flower arrangement and tea ceremony, is approached with great determination, sincerity and even spirituality. I felt I was looking at O-Sensei's own example of his highest form of Shodo.
One additional awakening came to me when I rediscovered the original meaning of Usui Reiki Ryoho. The next time I read the literal translation I have of the Usui Memorial in the Tokyo Saihoji temple grounds I now had a new understanding of what Admiral Ushida (aka Gyuda) was saying whenever he used the term Usui Reiki Ryoho or Rei-Ho. It wasn't just the hand healing method that was a part of the modified Usui-Do system now known by the same name. It was also the heart of the concepts or gainen that he was referring to. This brought an entirely different understanding of how O-Sensei's students honoured and revered their teacher and his work.
URRI 2003 NEWS
Hiroshi Doi-sensei has been researching the use of the term "Reiki Ryoho." In his URRI 2003 handout (in Denmark) he shared the following findings.
is used often by spiritual therapists during Meiji (1868-1912), Taisho
(1912-1925) and early Showa (1926-1988) Era. Many people used the
word "reiki ryoho" to refer to their therapies, and "reiki ryoho" is
original with Usui Sensei. The name Usui
to use the term "reiki ryoho" was Mataji Kawakami, who was a therapist,
who published "Reiki Ryoho to sono Koka" (Reiki Ryoho and its
in 1919. However, today the term "reiki ryoho" almost exclusively
refers to "Usui Reiki Ryoho."
The Original Meaning of "Reiki"
For an explanation on the origins and meaning of the term "Reiki", click here.
If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me. I will try to answer them all.