Reiki was founded by Mikao Usui, a Buddhist monk in Japan who was born on August 15, 1865 in a village now called Miyamo cho, in Gifu Prefecture. His family was Hatamoto Samurai, a high rank within the Samurai System. Mikao Usui developed the system of Reiki when he undertook a twenty-one day spiritual retreat, including fasting and meditation in Mt. Karuma near Kyoto, where he attained enlightenment.
Having Reiki as a healing ability, he decided to share this with the people instead of keeping it to himself and his family. Thus, he opened up the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai at Aoyama, Tokyo in 1922.