Cherry blossoms at Biwako sosui in Spring, Kyoto, Japan

What is Reiki

Reiki Ryoho (therapy) is the art of hands on healing originating in Japan in 1922, established by Mikao Usui (臼井甕男1865-1926). Reiki itself can be described as the universal energy of existence, which flows through all life and matter. It is completely natural and non-invasive, and when a Reiki therapy is received from a trained practitioner, it can assist in the healing of both body and mind. Treatments are carried out by the practitioner placing their hands directly on the recipient, who remains fully dressed throughout the session, normally laying on a treatment couch. By doing this hands on, the practitioner effectively acts as a conduit for Reiki energy to pass through him or her in greater abundance, assisting and boosting the natural healing ability of the recipient’s body. Reiki works not only on physical issues but can also improve mental health and outlook, and over the past few decades has become increasingly popular throughout the world especially in Europe and the USA, becoming recognized as an effective and important holistic health treatment. Trials and studies are now being held in hospitals and front-line medical staff.

In Japan however, despite being the home of Reiki, the situation has been strikingly different. Although Reiki in Japan has, in recent years, been slowly growing in popularity, the majority of Japanese people still do not know or accept this wonderful non-religious healing practice. Before WWII Reiki had become very popular in Japan and was widely practiced, but from 1945, partly because of connections to the Japanese Navy and also because of medical laws instituted by the occupying forces, the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (the organisation established by Usui sensei) was obliged to stop openly practicing Reiki in order to avoid being shut down. Despite this however some individuals quietly continued to use Reiki from their homes, for friends and family.

With the dramatic change of ideology in post-war Japan, people gradually lost interest and belief in traditional Eastern healing arts and it is only over the last thirty years, following its journey from pre-war Japan, first to Hawaii and then throughout the West, that Reiki has been reintroduced to Japan and is now once again being openly practiced. This Reiki practice however was a Western version of Reiki with varying degrees of change and influence in the way it is practiced, and many of the teachings are therefore either missing important, essential elements from the original system or have been changed completely. It was thought that Reiki had died out in Japan and from the time Western Reiki first reappeared all those years ago, many students had been trying to find the original teachings free from Western influence, and this lead to the door of Chiyoko Yamaguchi…

Miyajima Island, The famous Floating Torii gate in Japan

Jikiden Reiki

Jikiden Reiki is Reiki without modern influence or modification, the way it was originally taught. The Kenkyukai was started by Chiyoko Yamaguchi, someone who continued to practice quietly throughout the war and post war years. She learned Reiki in 1938 from one of Usui sensei’s Dai Shihan (teacher of teachers), Chujiro Hayashi. She had been initiated to Reiki at the age of 17 and continued to practice throughout her life until she passed away in 2003. Chiyoko’s practice was discovered in the late 1990s and once people recognized that she held such a deep knowledge of Reiki from the early years, many in the Reiki community requested that she teach them what she had learned from Hayashi.

She was reluctant at first but after seeing the differences between those original teachings and what was being currently taught and practiced that she started to give group workshops in order that the new generation of students would have access to those teachings. As a consequence, in 1999 together with her son Tadao Yamaguchi, they founded an institute incorporating the name “Jikiden Reiki” (Jikiden meaning “directly passed down” as in the passing down of the original teachings of Chujiro Hayashi and of Usui before him, with no changes). The school has continued to grow thanks to the efforts of Tadao Yamaguchi and the Shihan (teachers) he has taught. Jikiden Reiki seminars teach the original, simple, yet powerful Japanese Reiki method and have become increasingly popular both at home and abroad, and The Jikiden Reiki UK Association has subsequently been set up to assist the growing number of students in the UK.


HAND HEALING: Are You Serious

A Simply Jikiden Reiki Film Production by Emily Macinnes