Reiki is a hands-on healing developed in Japan in 1922 by Dr. Mikao Usui. As for the word meaning Reiki is a Japanese word composed of two words - Rei and Ki. Rei means divine, spirit or spiritual aspect of human being and ki means vital energy or breath of life. Reiki therefore can be defined as a non-physical healing energy made up of life force energy that is guided by the Higher Intelligence or it can be defined as “divine life force energy”. Pseudo translation of word Reiki is "universal life force energy". In different parts of world this “life force energy” is known by different names e.g. Ki is known as Qi (Chi) in China and as Prana in India.
As per the information available from various sources it is said that Dr Mikao Usui received enlightenment about Reiki during Isyu Guo, a twenty-one day Buddhist meditation on sacred mountain Mount Kurama. Traditionally Isyu Guo is said to be a programme involving 21 days of fasting, meditation and praying. It is said that many people have been known to stand under the water fall at Mt. Kurama, meditating and allowing fall of water on their head to stimulate and activate the crown chakra. It is believed that Usui may have done this meditation. But many believe that he may have meditated only on the top of the mountain as is mentioned in the story told of Usui’s first encounter with the Reiki.
As per stone on his memorial Dr Usui in April 1922 founded the Usui Reiki Ryōhō Gakkai” (meaning Usui's Spiritual Energy Therapy Method Society) in order to help treat people on a large scale. He opened a Reiki clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo, where he treated people and conducted workshops to spread the benefits and knowledge of Reiki. According to Toshitaka Mochizuki, Usui created three degrees for Reiki training. During his visit to Fukuyama Dr Mikao Usui fell ill and passed away there on 9th March, 1962 at the age of 62.
Mrs. Hawayo Takata is credited with bringing Usui Reiki from Japan to western world. She returned to Hawaii in 1937 established Reiki in Hawaii. In the winter of 1938, Dr. Hayashi had initiated Hawayo Takata as a Reiki Master. She was the thirteenth and last Reiki Master Dr. Hayashi initiated. Mrs. Takata initiated twenty-two Reiki Masters. Below is a list of the Reiki Masters she initiated. This is the list she gave to her sister before she passed through transition.