THE CHOKU REI TRAIL
- Interlinking Threads...
(Examples of the use of the terms 'Choku Rei',
'Dai Ko Myo'
and 'Reiki' in Japanese 'New Religions')
Copyright © 2005 James Deacon
for the first Reiki symbol - Chokurei - when
written in one particular set of kanji can
be translated as 'direct spirit(s)', or 'spirit direct'.
translated Choku Rei as 'put the [spiritual] power here', and
there is also a possibility that the symbol is a calligraphic
stylization of the kanji character choku itself
- which has many meanings, including: direct; in person; at
once; & near by.
my researches, I had discovered reference to the term choku
rei in the writings of Masahisa Goi, founder of the religious
group Byakkõ Shinkõkai.
Goi states: "In the beginning, Great God took His
body, His light, and divided it into various rays of light.
He then functioned 7 rays of light to operate as the power source
of human beings. These 7 rays of origin, which I call Chokurei
(direct spirits from God), are the image of God working in this
world of mankind..."
this was the first instance of the use of the term chokurei
in any spiritual sense that I had discovered outside of Reiki,
obviously I decided to do some further research into Goi and
his group. Could it be that he had been a contemporary of Usui-sensei?
Or possibly even a student?
as it transpired, Masahisa Goi was only ten years old when Usui-Sensei
died; and Byakkõ Shinkõkai had not been
formed until 1955. But could there yet still be some connection
with Usui-Sensei and Reiki?
seems that Goi, who had been born in Tokyo, had been sickly
from birth. By his twenties, he had completely given up on orthodox
'western' medicine and turned to spiritual practices as a source
of therapeutic benefit. Unfortunately I have as yet not uncovered
anything to suggest that Reiki was specifically amongst the
practiced he encountered at this time.
Later, Goi began studying - and was strongly influenced by -
the writings of Mokichi Okada. In time, having been cured through
Okada's spiritual healing practices, Goi began widening his
contacts amongst spiritual and religious practitioners of the
time, and actively began promoting his own theories and practices
of healing, eventually leading to the foundation of the above-mentioned
While I could not discover any clear, direct connection
between Masahisa Goi and Reiki, what was becoming clear
from my research was that there was a series of complex interlinking
threads connecting the many and various modern-day Japanese
spiritual organisations, healing groups and 'new religions'.
'Scroll of Light'
Mokichi Okada, through who's practices Masahisa Goi had been
restored to health, was the founder of the religious group Sekai
Kyusei kyo (Church of World Messianity) (later also known
as Shumei) - and the originator of the healing
practice called Johrei (which some people have sought
to link, whether directly or indirectly, to Reiki).
In Okada's Shumei religion, the central focal point for
prayer is something referred to as the 'Scroll of Light'. Seen
as a direct connection to Deity, the scroll is believed to promote
peace, protection, balance, and righteousness.
There are a couple of versions of the 'Scroll of Light', and
one or other version hangs in every Shumei 'church'.
The first version bears three kanji characters (signifying
the 'Great Holy Light of Compassion'), the other version has
the same three kanji, plus two additional kanji (signifying
is the three-kanji version of the 'Scroll of Light' that
hangs in the shrine of the Shumei sanctuary on Kishima
As can be seen from the picture below, the kanji inscription
on the 'Scroll of Light' - this focal point for prayer, this
direct connection to Deity - reads: Dai Ko Myo.
of Shumei Headquarters
founder Mokichi Okada had been a member of one of Japan's seminal
modern-day Spiritual Groups - the Omoto Kyo - which had
been founded in the early 1800's by a visionary named Nao Deguichi.
Over time Nao, then later, her son-in-law Onisaboro Deguchi,
evolved the Omoto Kyo belief system (from diverse elements
originating within Folk Shinto, Buddhism and Christianity) to
become one of the (if not the) most important of all
the Japanese 'new religions'.
Many of the other later 'new religions' and other spiritual
and healing groups evolved out of Omoto Kyo - and a great
many more, though not actually having Omoto Kyo as their
source were greatly influenced by Omoto Kyo beliefs and
It goes without saying that Okada's own healing practices had
been strongly influenced by his Omoto Kyo background.
He had actually been a teacher in the Tokyo branch of Omoto
Kyo, and as such was experienced in the performance of Omoto
Kyo's primary religious healing ceremony, the miteshiro,
in which a ritual implement was slowly passed over and around
the body of the 'patient' in order to drive out possessing spirits,
disease and misfortune, with the aid of 'Divine Spirit' - which
(interestingly I thought), the anthropologist Winston Davis
[in "DOJO: Magic and exorcism in modern Japan"] tells
us, Omoto Kyo refers to as:
"...shinki or reiki..."
Unfortunately Davis does not elaborate on this.
from some sections
of the Reiki Community there has been talk of an alternative jumon
for the first Reiki symbol - that it has a 'secret' Shinto form,
pronounced: nao hi.
researching this term, I discovered that the term nao hi
is also used by the Omoto Kyo and in their philosophy
is used in an almost identical way to Goi's later use of chokurei.
Omoto Kyo philosophy, nao hi (which, just like chokurei,
translates as 'direct spirit') is "... the simplest, purest,
innermost aspect of the human spirit, embodying supreme good and
However, it transpires that Omoto Kyo also used the actual
term chokurei itself - they even produced a magazine entitled:
Chokurei-gun ("Direct-Spirit Army") - first published
Thus, it would seem that Omoto Kyo, via the teachings of
Mokichi Okada was almost certainly the source of Masahisa
Goi's concept of chokurei.
there are some within the Reiki Community who (without offering
any supporting evidence) would have us believe that chokurei is
a mainstream Buddhist jumon/symbol - would have us believe that
Usui-Sensei 'borrowed' chokurei from Tendai Buddhism, (one source
even claiming an [unsubstantiated] association with the Buddhist
deity Daiseishi), it would seem that rather than being a Buddhist
concept, the term chokurei might well be something exclusive
to the Japanese 'new religions' - possibly originating within
the Omoto Kyo philosophy.
'Power Symbol' and its 'secret Shinto jumon'
'Mental-Emotional Healing' Symbol
different forms of Symbol 2
different forms of Symbol 3
Master Symbol part 2 - The Reiki symbol that (supposedly) never
different forms of Symbol 4
Introduction of the symbols into Reiki
Reiki Symbols - Unsubstantiated Associations
Wheels' or Essential, Deeper 'Spiritual Tools'?
Symbols from a Japanese Buddhist Perspective
Kurama Kokyo Sect and the Reiki Symbols