Chujiro Hayashi

Chujiro Hayashi was born in Tokyo, on 15 September 1880. He practised Zen Buddhism and Shintoism. He married and had two children; a son Tadayoshi was born in 1903, and his daughter, Kiyoe, was born in 1910. He became a naval medical officer in the Japanese naval reserves. He enrolled as a student of Mikao Usui in May 1925.

Chujiro Hayashi was a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai organisation. In 1931 he broke away to form his own clinic, known as the Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai (Hayashi Spiritual Energy Society) in Tokyo. It is thought that he is the originator of most of the Reiki techniques practised in the west today. He introduced an attunement process that included symbols and mantras. Students received a certificate after five days training. In the Usui system, symbols and mantras were used as an aid to understanding the energy; the Hayashi system introduced the concept that the symbols added more power to one's Reiki practice. He taught specific hand positions and specialised in giving group treatments, to maximise the energy. People would stay and live at the clinic, receiving daily treatments.

He is known to have used a healing guide or manual that appears to be almost an exact copy of the one used by Mikao Usui. One theory is that being a doctor, with his knowledge of anatomy and human disease, he may have been requested to write the guide by Mikao Usui. His training involved working from the Hara points. Students would volunteer to practise giving treatments in the clinic for eight hours a week.

The attunement process developed by Dr Hayashi divided training into four levels over a period of two years or more. After three months the student was able to progress to the second level. Nine months after that, they might progress to assisting in the running of the clinic, and after two years were given the knowledge of how to teach and perform attunements (Shinpiden). How many grades were attached to each level is unknown.

In 1935 Hawayo Takata became a client of Dr Hayashi's clinic. It is through this connection that knowledge of the energy system known as Reiki was brought to the West.