Who was this enigmatic man who was instrumental in bringing Reiki to the West?
One thing most Reiki students are aware of when it comes to Chujiro Hayashi is that he was instrumental in bringing Reiki to the West through his initiation of Hawayo Takata. Other than that, he is often treated like the invisible middle child. We tell stories about Mikao Usui and Takata, and those stories are beautiful. But rarely do we talk in depth about Hayashi, and when we do talk about him, it’s usually in the context of either Usui or Takata.
So, let’s delve deeper in this enigmatic man’s life. Research for this article has been limited to Google and some Reiki books referenced at the end of this piece. Various discrepancies exist about Hayashi’s life and his teachings. Many sources claim to have the only true Hayashi story.
While doing the research I remembered a webinar I watched with an interview with Phyllis Futomoro, Mrs Takata’s grand-daughter. She said that her grandmother told her to ‘let Reiki be your guide’. And in writing this article, I did just that. I allowed Reiki to be my guide.
Who was Churijo Hayashi?
Hayashi was born in Tokyo on 15 September 1880. He graduated from the Japanese naval academy in 1902 at the age of 22. He had a successful navy career, reaching the rank of captain, until his retirement. During his time in the navy he mainly held logistical positions rather than be active on the frontline.
Hayashi was the director of Ominato Port Defence Station during the Russo-Japanese War in 1918. We know that he met Taketomi Kan’ichi during this time. It is likely that Taketomi introduced Hayashi to Reiki. He was one of Mikao Usui’s students and eventually became the third president of Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai.
Hayashi was married to Chie Hayashi who also became a Reiki Shihan. They had two children, a boy and a girl. Neither one of their children were involved in Reiki.
According to many researchers and authors, there is no actual evidence that Hayashi was a qualified physician. And here is where it gets a little complicated. A lot of articles suggest that Hayashi was a doctor in the navy, and some say that Usui asked him to open his own clinic in order to teach Reiki with a more clinical approach. However, there are also arguments that there is no actual evidence that Hayashi was a medical doctor. It is suggested that the reason he was called doctor may be that in Japan doctors are sometimes called sensei. Sensei is also a term of respect for a master. In calling Hayashi sensei, it might have been translated into English as doctor.
It is believed that Hayashi met Usui sometime in 1924 and that in 1925 at the age of 46 he was initiated as a Shihan by Usui. Some researchers suggest that he was one of the last people, if not the last, to receive Shihan from Usui. In 1930 he opened his own clinic, The Hayashi Reiki Institute. It was here that Takata came to, for her healing. He retired from the navy in the…