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On Gendai, Jikiden, and Komyo:
Just how 'traditional' are these 'Japanese Reiki' styles?
Copyright 2008 James Deacon


Gendai Reiki Ho: a brief glimpse behind the hype...

Gendai Reiki Ho, the system taught by Hiroshi Doi, is a modern invention (its name literally means Modern Reiki Method).
It is quite obviously based on western Radiance Technique Reiki (which Doi learnt from Mieko Mitsui - a student of Radiance Technique founder Barbara Ray), though with numerous additional techniques and practices (several, claimed by Doi to be 'original' Reiki techniques, several others probably borrowed/adapted from other healing and related arts, and even some* created by Doi himself).

Doi has stated that at the time he learnt 'western-style' Reiki, he was seeking to develop his own healing technique by uniting various systems he had already learned.
Amongst the systems he mentions are: Nishino Breathing, Shinmeikan Healing, SAS Shinkko, Genkyoku Kiko, Crystal Healing, Kihodo Healing, Hypnotic Kiko, Osteopathy, Energy Balancing, Astral Healing, Silva Mind Control Method, the Natural Vibration technique, Seikiho, Dokiho, Balance Therapy, & Multi-dimensional Body Work....

So, just how heavily has Gendai Reiki Ho been influenced by these various, non-Reiki, modalities?

As mentioned, in promoting his newly created Gendai Reiki Ho, Doi, shared some techniques which he claimed were original Usui Reiki Ryoho techniques - as practiced by the fabled Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai ...

Now, several people have commented how it is perhaps primarily due to the hype generated around these so-called 'original Reiki techniques' that Gendai Reiki Ho caught the attention/imagination of the Reiki community in the first place - that without this hype, Gendai Reiki Ho may have in fact gone the same way as any number of other, modern-day, 'chakra-ridden' New Age Reiki styles....

In fact, probably due to this hype around the 'original Reiki techniques', many people now seem to think of Gendai Reiki Ho as actually being 'traditional' Usui Reiki Ryoho; however, it must be stated that Doi himself has pointed out that what he teaches is not Usui Reiki Ryoho - that he has never taught Usui Reiki Ryoho (Which, of course, not being a Gakkai Shinpiden, he would not be trained/entitled to do)

In an extract from the English translation of a 2006 announcement, Doi states:

"I have taught nothing but Gendai Reikiho until now, and I will never teach anything else in the future as well....
...Gendai Reikiho does include traditional techniques. However, if a Master simply picks out these techniques and says that I teach both Gendai Reikiho and Usui Reiki Ryoho, this is wrong. I never taught anything but Gendai Reikiho Seminars, and this will remain the same in the future...."

[* Most notably, the reiju process!
Doi has pointed out (though not loudly enough, it seems...) that the particular version of reiju used and taught in Gendai Reiki Ho is his own creation - his attempt to replicate the experience of receiving the reiju empowerment as used by the Gakkai - something that Doi, not being a Gakkai master, has not learnt how to perform


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Jikiden: Some things that do not seem to 'sit' quite right...

It was only a few years before her passing that Chiyoko Yamaguchi began teaching Reiki under the name 'Jikiden'.

Jikiden claims to be Reiki as Hayashi-sensei taught it.

Yet Mrs Yamaguchi apparently had no knowledge of the DKM being used as a Reiki symbol, and was not aware of the term 'shinpiden' being used for the third level either...

In defence of this, it has been suggested that perhaps Hayashi-sensei didn't use the term shinpiden.
However, we know from Takata-sensei's diary that he did.

It has also been suggested by some that the DKM was not yet used as a Reiki symbol at the time of Mrs Yamaguchi's training - that this was something introduced by Hayashi-sensei himself at a later date!
However, the use of DKM as an initiating symbol was indeed part of the system when both Takata-sensei and Chie Hayashi (Chujiro Hayashi's wife) were initiated as Reiki Masters.
Having been initiated to Master Level some time around 1936, Takata-sensei had completed her Master level training (- she received her certification as a Reiki Master in February 1938 - ) more than a year and a half before Mrs Yamaguchi claims to have completed her training (training received, not from Hayashi-sensei, but from her own uncle, Wasaburo Sugano, who had apparently been one of Hayashi-sensei's students)

So if Mrs Yamaguchi had not heard the term shinpiden, and was not taught the DKM, had her uncle taken it upon himself to alter Hayashi-sensei's teachings?

Or perhaps, had Mrs Yamaguchi not actually been given level three initiation and training at all?
(Could it be that, unlike Hayashi-sensei, Wasaburo Sugano didn't hold with the idea of women learning the complete system?)

It is interesting that the other three symbols, as taught in Jikiden, are slightly different from the ones Takata-sensei had learnt earlier as part of her level 2 internship with Hayashi-sensei (in 1936).

[The Jikiden version of the 'power' symbol is actually very similar to one of the modern 'alternative CKR's' created by western Reiki practitioners in the early/mid 1990's...]

And not only does Jikiden seem to break with tradition by teaching the first symbol at level 1 (similarly to the the way in which the modern Japanese 'Reido Reiki' style teaches a new, 'non-traditional' symbol at level 1); Jikiden symbols also have different names to those learnt by Takata-sensei, and what, in Usui Shiki Ryoho, we refer to as the 'distance symbol', Jikiden classes not as a symbol, but as a jumon.

Even though it is claimed by some that both Usui-sensei and Hayashi-sensei provided training manuals for their students, when she started teaching Reiki (informally) in the 90's, Mrs Yamaguchi did not. [Shades of Usui Shiki Ryoho...]

She didn't provide manuals when Hyakuten Inamoto (founder of Komyo Reiki) trained with her (1996-7). It seems she only began to provide them when she later began to teach on a formal basis. (A response, it seems, to the inability of some western students to memorise the symbols as used in Jikiden, and also, to their confusion about the lack of training materials.)

Also, it seems, when she began teaching in the 90's, Mrs Yamaguchi did not provide certificates for her students, and there was no specific format to the training – in particular, no clear division between the levels as now taught under the 'brand name' Jikiden.

Apparently, when Hyakuten Inamoto began training with Mrs Yamaguchi, her son, Tadao, showed little interest in Reiki (it seems he was involved with Johrei healing at the time).

However by the time Mrs Yamaguchi began to teach formally (around 1999-2000) Tadao had become actively involved (- and now stresses his involvement with Reiki since childhood...)

According to Hyakuten (who would technically have been the 'senior' student at the time?), although he had been taught how to do so, Mrs Yamaguchi instructed him not to teach Jikiden to others - as Tadao wished to be the only individual to bear her direct lineage.

[A case of 'Keeping it in the family'?]

Mrs Yamaguchi claimed she used to have copies of Hayash-sensei's notes and other Reiki-related materials. It had been said that these were all lost in a fire while she was living in Manchuria; however, in another account, all her Reiki-related materials, including her Reiki Certificate were apparently lost on board the ship bringing her back to Japan from Manchuria.  

We do know that in the last years of her life she had a copy of Hayashi-sensei's 'Healing Guidelines' (the Hayashi Ryoho Shishin) in her possession - however it transpires this copy of the Guidelines was actually a gift from Canadian Reiki Teacher Rick Rivard!

The Jikiden lineage is given as: Usui - Hayashi - Yamaguchi; though, as Mrs Yamaguchi admitted she did not complete her training with Hayashi-sensei, but apparently with her uncle Wasaboro Sugano, there should really be another link in the lineage-chain…

Could it be that Wasaburo Sugano was simply omitted from the lineage in an attempt to put Mrs Yamaguchi on the same level, lineage-wise, as Takata-sensei?

Or could there be some other reason?

It has defensively (and IMO, somewhat confusingly) been suggested that it was not necessary to include Wasaboro in the lineage - that Hayashi-sensei's name appears in place of Wasaboro's because, at the time of Chiyoko's training with her uncle, Hayashi-sensei was head of the school (the Hayashi Reiki Kenkyukai), and thus, the name of the head of the school - rather than the name of the actual teacher appears in the lineage, as it was with the permission of the head of the school that the teacher had trained the student?!

However, to the best of my knowledge (and also based on some personal experience), in Japanese disciplines (Spiritual, martial, therapeutic, or otherwise) where lineal instruction/initiation is important, your immediate instructor/teacher in that lineage is always acknowledged.

To dis-acknowledge your actual teacher by omitting them from that lineage is to dishonour both the teacher and yourself.

And by the very nature of lineage, the head of the given school is automatically already acknowledged in the 'teaching chain'.

For the chain to be broken by omission is perhaps one of the most disrespectful things one can do.

The only 2 instances I'm personally aware of where a teacher has been omitted from a lineage was where that particular individual did not have the 'license' (i.e. right/permission) to train a student to the given level - and in both cases the student was, as a matter of course retrained and mentored by the 'unauthorised' teachers own teacher, thus providing an amended lineage...

And why, if Jikiden is supposedly Reiki as taught by Hayashi-sensei, has the 'teacher' level now been broken up into 2 parts (a practice originating in some Western styles of Reiki that were imported into Japan in the 90's)

Also, I find it interesting that, especially after all the hoo-haa about the spurious nature of the 'Grandmaster' title in Reiki - and how it was never used by Hayashi-sensei or Usui-sensei - Jikiden has, relatively recently, acquired the new 'uber'-level of dai shihan.

You see, while the term dai shihan is commonly used to indicate a senior instructor, it also has the meaning: Grandmaster...


[In the Jikiden teaching structure, those who have achieved the first part of level 3 (referred to as Shihan-Kaku - 'assistant teacher') are permitted to initiate students to level 1 (shoden). Those who have achieved the second part of level 3 (referred to as Shihan - 'teacher) are permitted to initiate students to both level 1 (shoden) and level 2 (okuden). A Dai-shihan l can initiate levels 1, 2 and 3.

While this type of teaching structure is also used by certain other modern styles of Reiki in Japan, such as Reido Reiki, it is actually derived from the structure found within Radiance Technique Reiki - the first, modified and augmented, Western style of Reiki to be introduced to Japan in the 1980's...]


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Komyo: a Reiki hybrid for the New Millenium...

Komyo Reiki Kai is based primarily on the Reiki training Komyo's creator Hyakuten Inamoto received from Chiyoko Yamaguchi.

As mentioned above, Hyakuten trained with Mrs Yamaguchi in the late 90's, however Mrs Yamaguchi had instructed him not to teach Jikiden to others.

It seems it was primarily in response to this that Hyakuten chose to begin teaching Reiki under the name 'Komyo' (or more fully: 'Komyo Reiki Kai').

While Komyo contains much of what Hyakuten learnt from Mrs Yamaguchi, it actually appears to be the product of a blending of techniques, practices and beliefs from several different sources:

Komyo would seem to include elements drawn from Hiroshi Doi's modern Gendai Reiki Ho teachings. (Hyakuten had spent a good deal of time acting as Doi's interpreter, and had obviously been influenced by Doi's approach to Reiki)

It has further elements from what seems to be Rand-lineage western Reiki (including a reiju version of Rand's non-permanent 'healing attunement'), and Komyo also uses a 4-level structure which is very reminiscent of the 4-level - 1, 2, (3)ART, (3a)Master - format of teaching used by many Rand and many 'independent' western Reiki Teachers.

And Hyakuten has also 'adopted' the use of the DKM symbol into his Reiki practice - a symbol which, as stated, was not something found in Jikiden (at least, not originally)...

Also, unlike Jikiden, Komyo does not teach the first symbol until level 2...

There have been other changes also, in relation to the use of the jumon associated with each symbol:.

For some time Hyakuten had apparently been teaching the jumon as an optional practice; however now it seems Hyakuten may have finally made the decision to abandon the use of the jumon altogether.

In order to reflect his own Buddhist beliefs, Hyakuten has chosen to give Komyo a particularly Buddhist flavour which is not present in the styles he has borrowed from.

Amongst other things, early on in Komyo's development, he introduced three Buddhist mudras: jo sango, renge bu sanmaya, and butsu Bu sanmaya into Komyo. These mudras, to be used in the Komyo Reiki attunement/reiju process, comprise part of the esoteric Buddhist practice known as goshimbo ('five-fold protection method').

Hyakuten also introduced the Buddhist meditative practice of anapanasati or 'watching the breath' into Komyo

And whereas, in Jikiden, the emphasis is on healing, in Komyo the emphasis is on personal spiritual transformation - or Satori - through Reiki practice. (Hyakuten teaches that Usui-sensei intended his system to be a path to enlightenment).

Even though, as stated, Komyo is essentially a hybrid system - drawing influences not just from Jikiden but also from Doi's modern Gendai Reiki Ho, 'western' Reiki, and Buddhist practice, it still uses Jikiden's somewhat problematic lineage...


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