Life of Dr. Hayashi

The Story of Dr. Chujiro Hayashi BY MARIANNE STREICH

Dr. Hayashi failed to cooperate, he was accused of being a spy. Finding himself in an untenable position, he chose to end his life honorably through the ritual of seppuku (suicide through disembowelment). He died on May 11, 1940. Hayashi’s wife Chie took over the clinic after his death. She travelled to the various branches and taught Reiki as he had. Neither of their two children followed in their parents’ footsteps, and the Hayashi institute died out after Chie stopped teaching. In 1952 Takata attended one of the yearly memorial services held to honor Hayashi. It is said that during that visit, Chie Hayashi suggested that Takata return to Japan and take over the Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu-kai, but Takata declined.

Differences in Usui and Hayashi’s styles

In addition to asking Hayashi to open a Reiki clinic, Usui also asked him to further develop Reiki based on his medical knowledge. During an interview published in the Fall 2003 issue of Reiki News Magazine, Hiroshi Doi described the differences between the Hayashi style and that of the Usui style practiced by the Gakkai . At the Gakkai, recipients were to sit when 6receiving treatment, unless they were seriously ill. Hayashi changed this to have the recipient lie on a table. Usui’s treatments were one-on-one; Hayashi had two or more practitioners treat each recipient. Hayashi developed an original hands-on system, and a new handbook was issued, Reiki Ryoho Shinshin, or “Guidelines for Reiki Healing Method.” He also developed a new system of conferring and passing on Reiki Ryoho and established a monthly, five-day workshop during which Okuden was given. The Gakkai placed emphasis on the navel and the Tanden as important energy centers, while Hayashi focused more on the meridian lines of acupuncture and the chakras. Usui referenced various vertebrae in relation to hand positions; Hayashi’s reference was to the organs. Hayashi taught monthly classes in Tokyo and Osaka. He taught twice each year in Ishikawa at the Daishoji branch. It is believed there were other branches as well, as Hayashi taught all over Japan.

The attunement was given first, followed by a lecture explaining the nature of Reiki. Prior to an attunement, Hayashi had students sit in front of a scroll that he had drawn depicting Gokai (the Five Ideals or Principles) and follow him in reciting the Principles. He instructed his teachers to do so as well, because the scroll “has great energy which cleanses the venue.”

Reciting Gokai purified the venue and readied it for Reiju (attunement). He also recited, and at times had students recite, Gyosei (poems written by the Meiji Emperor) before giving Reiju.
Each recipient was attuned by each Shihan present, one after the other. Emphasis was placed on receiving regular attunements and students attended monthly meetings during
which they received Reiju-kai, or attunement sessions.

Monthly sessions were also held at the branch in Ishikawa so that participants could receive Reiju from local Shihans, even though Hayashi was not present.

This article relies heavily on information made available by Tadao Yamaguchi through his book, Light on the Origins of Reiki and through Frank Arjava Petter’s book, The Hayashi Reiki Manual. Yamaguchi’s mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi, received her first attunement from Hayashi in 1938 when she was 17 years old.

She received subsequent training from her uncle, Mr. Wasaburo Sugano, and with Hayashi’s approval, became Shihan in the autumn of 1939, in less time than was typical.

She practiced Reiki quietly in Japan for 65 years, until her passing in 2003. Her perspective is invaluable for understanding how Hayashi taught and practiced Reiki. Her recounting of the first attunement she received from Hayashi evokes a powerful sense of what it must have been like to be present during Reiju-kai
with him.

Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s First Attunement Chiyoko’s older sister and other family members practiced Reiki, and she eagerly awaited the day when she would be attuned as well. Her uncle required her to wait until she graduated from high school. When the day finally arrived, she dressed in a new kimono given to her by her uncle for the occasion and went with her sister Katsue to the seminar, which began at 10 AM. The youngest person present by some years, she felt slightly intimidated by the formal atmosphere and impressively
attired Shihans
Coordinators of the event greeted participants and explained how they were to receive Reiju. They were instructed to sit in the seiza posture (formal Japanese sitting posture with legs folded beneath the body so that one is sitting on one’s heels) with their eyes closed, sitting straight and taking care not to put pressure on the Tanden (a spot just below the navel). It was explained that those giving the attunements would touch the participant to indicate they should place their hands in Gassho as the attunement began. Once their hands were in Gassho, the Shihan would place one hand on the head and give the attunement.

They were told a second attunement would be given with the Shihan’s hands around the Gassho hands of the participant. They were not to stand up or to talk, but wait quietly until all had
been attuned. Once they had been briefed, Hayashi Sensei entered the room dressed in Haoari and Hakama (traditional formal Japanese suit-type kimono). Chiryo described him as a tall, dignified man with impressive bearing who seemed to have a light shining all around

Tadao Yamaguchi,
Light on the Origins of Reiki, A Handbook for Practicing the Original Reiki of Usui and Hayashi.
With Hayashi leading, participants recited the Gokai (The Five Reiki Ideals or Principles). He began with kyo dake wa (just for today) and participants repeated this and the remaining lines
in unison three times: kyo dake wa (just for today) ikaru-na (do not get angry) shinpaisuna (do not worry) kansha shite ( be thankful) gyo hageme (work hard) hito-ni shinsetsu-ni (be kind to others)

Next, the light was turned off and the shutters closed so that the room was very dark. Hayashi Sensei performed the Reiju, followed by other Shihans. Each Reiju lasted about five minutes. Hayashi chanted Gyosei of the Meiji Emperor throughout the attunement.

After the attunement students performed Reiki Mawashi (Reiki circulating practice) by forming a circle and placing their hands on the back of the person in front of them, remaining in
that position for 10-20 minutes. Sometimes Hayashi joined in the circle; at other times, he sat in the center, directing participants. This was followed by a lecture and then, in the afternoon,
practical application.

After attunements had been given, Hayashi explained the
theory behind Reiki.

He told his students, “Reiki cures problems from the bottom up.”

Hayashi talked about diseases of the day and discussed the body’s natural healing process and how Reiki activates it. He used the metaphor of a muddy stream, telling students that Reiki stirs up stagnant energy, just as sediment will surface when a stream is disturbed. As surface sediment is removed, the stream will appear to be clearer, although some sediment will sink to the bottom again. Continuing the process of bringing sediment to the surface and removing it will ultimately result in a clear stream. Just as a disturbed stream will appear muddy, disturbing stagnant energy can result in a healing reaction or in symptoms temporarily getting worse, but as the stagnant energy continues to be removed, the body becomes clear, just as the stream becomes clear if the muddy sediment is removed. He described healing as the process of making the finest paper, in
which each sheet is peeled off until the healthy being is revealed.

He showed an anatomical chart and discussed the
function of each organ and the application of Reiki depending on
the symptoms presented.

In the afternoon, students gave and received treatments and also treated people from the neighborhood who were in poor health.
Handbooks “The Hayashi Reiki Kenkyukai [Hayashi Reiki Institute] published a treatment manual, Ryoho Shishin, which gave guidelines for treatment according to symptoms and diseases.

Usui’s manual placed emphasis on hand positions as they relate to the spine, while Hayashi’s manual relates hand positions to the various
organs. For instance, under “Flu” Hayashi’s handbook gives the following listing:
1. Nose, 2. Throat, 3. Trachea, 4. Bronchus, 5.
Lungs, 6. Liver, 7. Pancreas, 8. Stomach, 9. Intestines, 10. Kidneys,
11. Head, 12.Kekko Massage.

Although the areas for treatment are given, this does not indicate that a certain order of hand positions should be followed. Unlike the teaching of Western Reiki, Hayashi did not teach a progressive sequence for hand positions. According to Yamaguchi, entries in the manual were intended to give direction when the practitioner was unable to discover Byosen.
The practitioner was to lay hands on the suggested areas until the Byosen was located. Takata told Fran Brown that each of Hayashi’s students was given “…a list of complaints and places to look for the cause.”
John Gray, one of Takata’s Masters, was given Takata’s copy of this 40-page handbook. Alongside the normal kanji, were written simple Japanese characters that would have been used for children or those not fluent in Japanese. It is likely that this was done because Takata’s ability to read Japanese was not as acute as her ability to speak it.
Hayashi also gave his students a booklet of 100 of the 125 poems Usui had selected from the thousands written by the Meiji Emperor. They contained sayings for “improvement of body and mind,” such as, “Things are apt to go in an unexpected way. What you have to mind is your own mind itself.” These Gyoseiwere considered as important to the practice of Reiki as the Gokai or Five Ideals. Yamaguchi provides translations of a few of them in his book.

The Gokai or Five Reiki Ideals may be heard in Japanese at and are available on CD from Inner Worlds Music,
Merlin’s Magic, Reiki Space of Peace and Love
(track #4).
Gyosei are waka—classical Japanese verse of five lines containing 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. When written by an emperor they are known as Gyosei.
Yamaguchi, 30–36; Petter, 18–25.
Petter, 18–20.
Yamaguchi, 133.
Ibid., 70, 72.
Ibid., 75.
A translation of this manual can be found in Reiki, The Healing Touch by William Lee Rand.
See Frank Arjava Petter, The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui
(Wisconsin: Lotus Press, 1999).
Yamaguchi, 124.
Fran Brown.
Living Reiki, Takata’s Teachings
(California: LifeRhythm,
1992), 30.
John Harvey Gray and Lourdes Gray with Steven McFadden and Elisa-
beth Clark,
Hand to Hand, the Longest-Practicing Reiki Master Tells His
(Gray, 2002), 183.
Yamaguchi, 83.
Ibid., 83–88.


2009 39
Degrees and classes
Although degrees and classes differ somewhat from those given in Western Reiki, they do correspond in a general way as listed below:
(first term)—Western Level I
(second term)—Western Level II
(mystery teaching)—Western Master
consisted of four levels, which were called the 6th degree (lowest), 5th, 4th, and 3rd. Each level consisted of a three-hour seminar followed by a practical session of giving treatments.
According to Tadao Yamaguchi, during Shoden participants learned the first symbol and the Ketsueki Kokan (Kekko) technique, which translates as “blood exchange” method but is a
means of improving circulation through massage.
They practiced Reiki Mawashi and Reiki Okuri
(sending Reiki with palms facing each other but not touching). They also learned Hatsureiho, or the method for radiating Reiki. This was a five-day individual exercise regime that takes 30-40 minutes to perform and is a means of increasing the flow of Reiki. They also spent time each day of the class with hands-on practice.
Takata told Fran Brown that
was completed in four
days. The first day the focus was on the basic positions above the
neck and the diseases they treated. During day two, treatment of
the front of the body was discussed, the back positions on day
three, and acute cases and accidents on day four.
was divided into two sessions,
-Koki. “Students were allowed to participate in the
training course only after a lot of practice, which would
enable them to feel
(problematic areas)…”
This typical-
ly took about three months, but could take up to six months or a
year. However, Hayashi Sensei did give an intensive five-day
course of both
coupled with longer hours
each day when he taught outside Toyko and Osaka.”
During the
class they received the Mental/Emotional symbol and
learned how to use it for treatment of psychological issues and
trauma. They also learned to send distant treatment and received
the Distant Healing
(mantra). According to Petter, stu-
dents learned
Ketsueki Kokan
at the
consisted of two levels,
or assistant
teacher, permitted to teach the
course, and
or teacher,
permitted to teach both
. “The
were not given in a seminar the way they are today. When a person
was [deemed] ready [by Hayashi], he or she was able to learn to give
Hayashi determined when a practitioner who had
had practiced sufficiently and was qualified to
; moving to this level was not by choice of the practi-
tioner. Hayashi gave some
permission to teach teachers.
The symbols and methods of attunement were not written down but
were passed as an oral tradition by both Usui and Hayashi.
According to Yamaguchi,
students were not attuned to the
symbols; the symbols were simply introduced. He makes a dis-
tinction between symbols (
) and mantras (
). The
Power symbol and Mental/Emotional symbols are symbols; what
we consider the Distant Healing symbol is a
or mantra.
This explains why it is comprised of
that can be found in
any Japanese dictionary. One does not say the name of a symbol
when it is drawn, as we do in the West; however, one simulta-
neously draws and repeats a
The power of a
is in
saying it aloud.
Yamaguchi says of the Power symbol: “… [it] signifies the
highest place, that which humans cannot reach which is the
source of Reiki. Usui Sensei took it from a Shinto concept and
it is used to focus energy to tackle
Hayashi advised his
students not to overuse it. The Mental/Emotional symbol is
based on a Sanskrit letter and is used specifically for psycholog-
ical treatment. According to Doi, Usui did not use the Master
symbol during attunements, and it is not used by the
today. Nor did Mrs. Yamaguchi use it.
However, Takata did
have it, and Rand’s thinking is that Hayashi must have added it,
especially likely since he had been asked by Usui to develop the
attunement process. If Hayashi added it, he may not have
taught it to everyone, explaining why Mrs. Yamaguchi did not
have it, or he may not have developed the use of it until late in
his career and gave it to Takata as one of the last teachers he
trained prior to his death.
. C
Petter, 15.
See Petter, 51–61, for an illustrated, detailed explanation of the steps in
Kekko. Yamaguchi describes the process on pages 128–130 in his book.
Brown, 29.
Yamaguchi, 28.
Ibid., 28.
Petter, 51.
Yamaguchi, 36. It is my sense that Takata probably conferred the Mas-
ter degree in this way. There is little information regarding this, but to
my knowledge, only one of her Masters, Fran Brown, speaks of having
formal training for the Master level. In her book
Living Reiki, Takata’s
, Brown recounts having spent a week snow-bound with Taka-
ta and receiving Master training during that time; however, she does
not mention the number of hours or a curriculum for the training.
Yamaguchi, 140.
Ibid., 15.
Ibid., 140–147.
Ibid., 141.
Ibid., 151.
Ibid., 147.
This information comes from private conversations that took place in
2007 between Doi, Petter, Rand, and Tadao Yamaguchi.
Telephone conversation with William Rand, August 8, 2009.
40 © R

Hayashi’s Clinic
Hayashi’s clinic in central Tokyo had eight tables. Two practi-
tioners typically worked with each client, although at times there
was an additional practitioner. Tables were rattan beds 30-40 cm
(11.81–15.75 inches) high. Futons were used if additional beds
were needed. Practitioners sat on the floor.
One practitioner began with the head while the second treat-
ed the problem area. If there were a third practitioner, he or she
would treat the feet. The soles of the feet were considered next in
importance to the head. Practitioners located
and gave
Reiki intensely at that location until the
eased. Hayashi
taught that they should always treat the head and always end
massage. The sequence for treating the head was fore-
head, back of head, temples, and crown.
Takata reported that during the year she lived with the
Hayashi family and received training, she gave treatments along
with other practitioners from 7 AM until noon. One practition-
er worked on the client’s head, the other on the stomach area,
then both worked on the back. Practitioners received a one
hour lunch break and then in the afternoon made house calls,
giving treatments that typically lasted from one to one and one-
half hours. They returned home by 7 PM.
Treatment Methods
The purpose of Reiki in Usui and Hayashi’s day was to heal
physical illness.
All diseases were treated and the handbooks
issued by the
and the
focused on how to
treat specific illnesses.
Ketsueki Kokan Ho (Kekko)
massage were considered essential techniques for any treat-
Although some Western practitioners use
it was not a technique specifically taught by Takata. She may
have made reference to it when she said, “Reiki will guide you.
Let your Reiki hands find it. They will know what to do.”
sueki Kokan Ho
is not widely practiced in the West, partly
because Takata did not teach it, but perhaps also because of
practitioners’ concerns that one might need a massage license
to use the technique.
Several other techniques were used by Usui and Hayashi that
were not taught by Takata. Yamaguchi quotes the
Reiki Ryoho no
(Reiki Treatment Guidelines) issued by the
: “Treat-
ment is carried out by gazing at affected areas, blowing onto
them, patting, rubbing or laying hands on them.”
For instance,
to treat burns, one first employed
(eye Reiki) by gazing at
the affected area, followed by
(mouth Reiki) blowing
through pursed lips onto the burns.
Both Usui and Hayashi placed emphasis on the concept of
and stressed developing sensitivity in the hands through
practice, suggesting ways for students to accomplish this.
translates as “ill, stiffness, toxic, or tumor”;
as “gland, lump, block, or accumulation of toxins which disturb
the flow of energy.” The sensitive practitioner will receive mes-
sages from the recipient’s body in the form of heat, cold, tingling,
prickling, or other sensations in the hands. At times, the practi-
tioner may feel discomfort in his or her own body that corre-
sponds with the discomfort in the recipient’s body. Focusing
Reiki on the area of the body where
is present helps to
break down the toxins. The practitioner treats the area until the
sensations ease or subside.
may subside, and then peak two
or three times during a 60–80-minute treatment.
Ketsueki Kokan Ho (Kekko)
A massage technique that increases circulation, purifies the
blood and rejuvenates the body,
is effective after a hands-
on treatment and can also be practiced independently. Hayashi
considered it an essential component of any Reiki treatment. It is
a rather long and involved process with several steps that include
stimulating the spine, the torso and legs in a specific pattern. Pet-
ter’s book describes the process and provides detailed illustra-
Caution should be exercised in using this technique, as
many states in the US and some other countries require the prac-
titioner to have a massage license to perform it.
Psychological Treatment
According to Yamaguchi, the term for the Mental/Emotional
symbol indicated both the symbol, and a specific psychological
treatment. He describes the method, which is to draw the Men-
tal/Emotional symbol over the crown of the head, directing energy
to the core of the brain. The practitioner then repeats phrases
intended to reverse the negative habit. They are not affirmations,
but rather admonitions using terms such as “must” or “mustn’t”
that give direct commands to the receiver’s unconscious and con-
scious mind. Yamaguchi believes this is more effective than the
modern-day tendency for using positive affirmations. During the
treatment, the practitioner may perceive sensations in the palms
similar to
; however, in this case it doesn’t indicate an accu-
mulation of toxins, but rather the flow of energy. Treatment is con-

The concept of Byosen is discussed in-depth in a three-part series,
“Understanding Byosen Scanning,” by Frank Arjava Petter, which
appeared in the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2007 issues of

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