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Reiki History

The original name for Reiki is Shin Shin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho. 

This translates as,

'Usui Reiki Treatment Method for the Improvement of Body and Mind'.


How Reiki Treatment began

Mikao Usui discovered Reiki in 1922 while he was fasting on Mt Kurama, a beautiful mountain just outside Kyoto, Japan. He understood that it was not an ability only he had, but that something had been cleared or awakened within him. He went on to develop his treatment method to help many people and from his vast knowledge and through experimenting he developed a way to 'clear the pipe' so the energy could flow easily in others. 

Usui taught 20 teachers before he died in 1926, one of them a man named Chujiro Hayashi, a medical doctor and naval captain. Hayashi opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo where he and his students gave Reiki treatments to members of the public with great success. 

Chujiro Hayashi travelled Japan teaching in various places, as his teacher Usui had. He founded the Hayashi Reiki Kenkyukai (Institute) after Usui's death and one of the places he taught twice a year was Ishikawa, the hometown of Chiyoko Yamaguchi. 

Mt Kurama, Japan
Steps up Mt Kurama, Japan
Lion statue, Mt Kurama, Japan

Mt Kurama, Japan

Chiyoko Yamaguchi

Chiyoko Yamaguchi, who co-founded Jikiden Reiki with her son, Tadao Yamaguchi, learned Reiki from Chujiro Hayashi in 1938 when she was just 17 years old. The family were introduced to Hayashi by Chiyoko's uncle Sugano. The majority of her family learned Reiki and practiced on a daily basis so it was highly valued by them all at the same time as being a very 'normal' thing for them.

Chiyoko brought up her four sons using Reiki for any injuries, first aid, minor or major sicknesses they had. Her youngest son, Tadao, was born with a very weak disposition, yet the Reiki she gave him on a consistent basis allowed him to grow into a healthy adult. 

How Jikiden Reiki started

The Yamaguchi family continued treating people and teaching them Reiki throughout their lives, even during the time it was outlawed after WWII. Chiyoko sensei and her family were entirely unaware that it was known outside Japan until the 1990s, when some Western style teachers discovered her existence and asked her to teach official training seminars. 

Delighted that her precious Reiki was known elsewhere, Chiyoko Yamaguchi realised that some of the things she had learned in the 1930s had been changed or omitted in the West, while other things had been added. She and her youngest son, Tadao, decided to begin teaching official seminars replicating those she and her family had taken back in the 1930s. She simply wanted to show people what they had learned all those years ago that had proved invaluable during her life. 

They called the seminars, Jikiden Reiki, meaning, 'directly passed down Reiki'.

During the training I go into more detail and tell the fascinating stories of the history of Usui, Hayashi and the Yamaguchi family. 

I'll also show you some old photographs of the seminars in the 1920s and 30s

Chiyoko Yamaguchi, Amanda Jayne

Me with Chiyoko Yamaguchi 2002

Meeting Chiyoko Yamaguchi

I met Chiyoko Yamaguchi in 2002 and, as soon as I met her, knew I wanted to learn Reiki with her. My overwhelming feeling was one of being in the presence of a wonderful person, glowing with life, love and what felt like infinite kindness. Yet what struck me most was that she was an ordinary person, who looked and behaved like everyone’s favourite grandmother. I felt very honoured to be learning with her and her son and lucky to be able to gain from their wealth of experience.


Chiyoko Yamaguchi died in 2003 and though I felt very sad at her passing, it was comforting to know that her life was one in which she had personally made a difference to so many people. In her simple, unassuming way, she had started something that would go on to help and empower thousands more.

Tadao Yamaguchi - Representative of Jikiden Reiki

Tadao Yamaguchi is the youngest son of Chiyoko Yamaguchi. He grew up assuming that everyone used Reiki the way his family did in their everyday lives. He learned how to give Reiki at a young age and enjoyed the benefits of receiving Reiki from his mother daily. It's a wonderful thing to be able to give your child Reiki as they are growing up and I encourage parents to learn so that they can do the same for their children.

Tadao Yamaguchi started teaching Reiki with his mother in 1999. He teaches with a wonderful mixture of wisdom, humility and experience. He travels Japan and the world teaching seminars to help people change their lives by using Jikiden Reiki. The collection of memorabilia passed on to him by his family is fascinating, as are some of the stories he tells of treatments or his childhood experiences with Reiki. 

Hi intention is to emulate the attitude of Mikao Usui, the founder, and his student, Chujiro Hayashi and to live in what he calls, 'the great spirit of Reiki'.

Book, Light on the Origins of Reiki

To learn more about the history of Jikiden Reiki and the Yamaguchi family, read, "Light on the Origins of Reiki" by Tadao Yamaguchi

Available at / .uk

Tadao Yamaguchi, Amanda Jayne

Me with Tadao Yamaguchi 2015

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