The origins of Reiki are still to this day largely unknown. Ask ten Reiki Masters the same question and you will probably get ten different variations on the story.
What is generally accepted is that Reiki is an ancient form of healing whose knowledge was lost to the world for centuries until it was rediscovered by a Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Christian Minister. Dr Usui ran a Christian Boys’ School in Japan and it is beleived that one of the schoolboys ahd inquired of Dr Usui whether he believed in miracles.
As Dr. Usui said he did believe in miracles but was unable to explain how they were possible, he set out on a quest to find out. Of particular interest to him was to know how Jesus and other prophets from history were able to perform healing miracles.
The popular story of Reiki goes on to tell us of how Dr. Usui climbed to the top of a mountain in order to carry out a 21-day meditation. On the 21st day it is believed that Dr. Usui received a vision in which the light descended upon him and he was intuitively given the Reiki symbols that are still used today by Reiki practitioners and Masters.
One man who was initiated directly into Reiki by Dr. Usui was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi who in turn initiated a Hawaiian-born woman called Mrs. Hawayo Takata. At some point in the 1970s Mrs Takata took the Reiki teachings to California and initiated a further 22 Masters into the Usui system of natural healing.
Since then Reiki has become very popular in the West, with many people receiving the first, second or master level attunements.