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Hawayo Takata

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Hawayo Hiromi Takata (1900–1980) was a Japanese-American responsible for the popularization of Reiki in the West.

Takata and Reiki[edit]

The story goes that while Takata was in Japan, she had appendicitis, a tumor, and gallstones. While on the surgery table, a voice told her surgery wasn't necessary. She then asked the surgeon if there were any non-surgical alternatives, and was referred to Chujiro Hayashi's Reiki clinic, in which Takata was healed of the appendicitis, tumor, and gallstones.[1] Or so she claimed.

Takata is known to have lied about quite a lot of things. She claimed, for example, that Mikao Usui studied in America and taught in a Christian university in Japan.[2][3] Takata said Usui worked in a beggar's quarter for seven years and came to the conclusion that students who wanted to learn Reiki had to pay for it, or else they wouldn't respect Reiki enough. Usui did not charge for Reiki instruction or treatment,[4] but she still used this story to justify her exorbitant Grand Master training fees. She also claimed she was the only Reiki Grand Master alive and that all the Japanese Reiki practitioners died during WWII[1] (this was also false).

For some reason, Takata didn't create any Reiki Grand Masters (level 3 practitioners) until 1970. The training process only took a weekend,[1] but she charged students $10,000 for it anyway (if you take inflation into account, $10,000 is the equivalent of $62,223 in 2016).[5] She taught 22 of these Grand Masters in the 10 years from 1970 to her death in addition to the usual lower-level students. If we assume that Takata taught about 2 students per year, then we find that her yearly earnings from these people alone were at least $58,599 to $124,447 (adjusted for inflation in 2016 money). This six-figure income is impressive when you consider it was the result of only four days of work per year.

Some of Takata's actions could be interpreted as her trying to secure this valuable source of easy riches for herself. She told her students not to write down or tape any of her teachings, so that non-practitioners wouldn't find out about them, because it was important that the knowledge and symbols be kept secret[6] – despite the fact that Usui's Reiki system didn't require symbols.[2] Takata also placed restrictions on how many Grand Masters her students could train: She told one of her disciples not to train more than three Grand Masters,[4] and told her students that people must only study with one Reiki teacher their entire lives.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 What is the History of Reiki?,
  2. 2.0 2.1 Reiki will never be the same again, Taggart King.
  3. History of Reiki and the Usui System of Natural Healing, James Bulls,, May 29th. 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Historical Reiki Inconsistencies, International House of Reiki.
  5. Inflation calculator.
  6. Historical Truth or Aesop Fable?, Phylameana lila Désy.