In comparing Reiki lineages that flow from the Hayashi and Takata lineages, with those that flow from the Gakkai teachings it is interesting to reflect on the importance of synergy, and the special energy that seems to resonate between the United States and Japan.
Here amidst a North American winter, I am looking at two photos, one of Cherry Blossoms, taken not in Japan, but in the Basin near the US Capital in Washington, and the other a carving of Mickie and Minnie Mouse, done not in North America, but for an ice festival in Sapporo, Japan.
American and Japanese cultures are of course quite distinct, but, they seem to have a mutual fascination. All over the world, the most popular sports contests are soccer (actually called football almost everywhere else in the world), but in Japan as in the USA, baseball is incredibly popular. The development of computer technologies resonate between the two cultures, Comics from the USA led to Manga in Japan, which led to Japanimation popular in America.
If the history of Reiki is elusive between 1920 and 1950, it should not be surprising. Japan went through a rapid cycle change in governance in that time, and - lest we forget - so did the United States. Women's suffrage occurred in America in 1920, and America continued to grow through social change through the 1950's and 1960's. The world has been ravaged by War, and brought together through Globalization - what surprise that we cannot know for sure what Mikao Usui taught to Dr Hayashi, or to the other members of the Gakkai.
We seek history for what it can teach us, and out of respect for those who left us guidance - but the importance of the synergy may exceed the importance of which was "correct."
In a famous dispute between two the schools of Hillel and Shammai, (religious scholars who were themselves friends and study partners), the tradition has it that the word came from heaven that "this one and this one represent the word of the Living God." In seeking spirituality, both may be correct.
The wisdom that was taught by Mikao Usui was certainly not new. Whether or not Mrs. Takata was correct in her history of Usui, that he was seeking a wisdom used by Jesus and the Buddha, healing of hands and healing by prayer certainly exist in Biblical stories.
There are interesting arguments between French and English speaking sources on the "discovery" of certain scientific applications that were being worked on simultaneously in multiple parts of the world.
What does appear true, is that Reiki, in the format brought from Japan, fascinated North Americans, and that Reiki brought back to Japan from the Western Cultures, has fascinated Japanese.
Whether it be Cherry Blossoms in Washington, or Mickey Mouse in Sapporo, the synergy of energy that crosses the Pacific is important. Let us hope that this continues, that it be a synergy for peace and healing of humankind, and that both the similarities and differences of cultures can be appreciated. Humankind is more than the sum of its isolated parts, and every culture has a value.