Honoring Mrs. Hawayo Takata

We honor the spiritual lineage of Reiki and shine a beautiful spotlight on Mrs. Hawayo Takata in honor of her birthdate in December. Though Mrs. Hawayo Takata was a second-generation Master in the Usui Reiki lineage, you’d be hard pressed to find a person more influential in spreading and preserving Reiki than she.

Mrs. Takata was born on the island of Kauai, Hawaii on December 24, 1900 to parents who were immigrants from Japan. She later married the bookkeeper of the plantation where she was employed and together they had two children. After her husband died young in 1930, Mrs. Takata was forced to work constantly in order to support herself and her children. It wasn’t long before the effects of this work took its toll, and Mrs. Takata developed severe abdominal pains, a lung condition, and, eventually, a nervous breakdown.

After traveling to Japan to visit her parents, Mrs. Takata decided to stop into the clinic of Dr. Hayashi – Dr. Usui’s direct understudy and one of the founders in the Usui Reiki lineage. There, she began receiving Reiki treatments for her conditions. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Takata began to notice her health improving. After four months of twice-daily treatments, Mrs. Takata was completely healed.

Having been made a believer in the effectiveness of Reiki, Mrs. Takata wanted to learn it herself. She began studying under Dr. Hayashi and had earned Second Degree Reiki (Okuden) within a year. By 1938, she had earned the rank of Reiki Master. Having returned to Hawaii, Mrs. Takata worked to establish a Reiki clinic in Hawaii, making her instrumental in helping spread Reiki to the Western world.

In spreading Reiki to the West, Mrs. Takata worked to simplify it, honing her version of Reiki down to a series of treatments and techniques that she found to be the most effective. Though her teaching and healing methods ended up differing from Japanese Reiki, they were effective, and the popularity of Reiki in Hawaii quickly began to spread.

During her time at her Hawaii clinic, Mrs. Takata initiated twenty-two Reiki Masters. In addition to playing a critical role in training the third generation of Reiki Masters, it was Mrs. Takata who helped preserve Reiki and help keep it alive during its most trying times, particularly after WWII ended. From Japan to Hawaii then and on to the US Mainland to eventually all over the world today, people experience the benefits of the healing tradition of Reiki.

Mrs. Takata complied with the United States’ increasingly stricter licensing requirements for her Hawaiian clinics, and she was able to help keep Reiki alive at a time when regulation threatened to smother it. Mrs. Takata had a very important role in preserving the knowledge of Reiki and passing it on to those who would appreciate and honor it. For this reason, as well as the many other contributions Mrs. Takata made to Reiki, she is remembered as being one of the most important figures in Reiki’s lineage.

Today, clients and students of Reiki continue to benefit from Mrs. Takata’s admirable efforts to expand and preserve Reiki. Though Mrs. Takata transitioned on December 11, 1980, her life, legacy, and contributions to Reiki and the world at large continue to live on to this day. 

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