Updated: Nov 8
Continued from Part 1.
As the world plunged into the throes of World War II, a conflict that would leave an indelible mark on humanity, a relatively quiet yet powerful form of healing continued to touch lives on the home front in Japan. This was Reiki, also referred to as "the people's medicine", a practice developed in the preceding decades by Mikao Usui, which now provided a beacon of serenity amidst the tumult of global warfare.
Reiki’s Spread in Wartime Japan:
Against the backdrop of air raid sirens and the anxiety of an uncertain future, Reiki practitioners—both seasoned and newly initiated—found in their healing art a form of spiritual defiance. The Reiki principles espoused non-violence and inner peace, a stark contrast to the surrounding reality of the time. Throughout the war, despite the challenges of travel restrictions and resource scarcity, Reiki continued to be taught and practiced, its gentle touch often the only comfort against the hardships of war.
Significance for Soldiers and Civilians:
Amidst the strife, Reiki provided a much-needed reprieve. It was used to comfort and heal, to alleviate the emotional and physical toll of war. The exact extent and manner in which Reiki was practiced during World War II in Japan are not well-documented in English-language sources, but anecdotal evidence suggests that Reiki was a quiet but steady presence for many during those years of hardship.
Reiki's Endurance and Adaptation:
Reiki's principles and practices are said to have offered a form of passive resistance to the widespread aggression of the war. The art of Reiki, with its roots in harmony and balance, seemed to embody a form of spiritual survival, promoting inner peace in the face of outer chaos. The exact details of how Reiki evolved and adapted during this time may be gleaned from historical texts and personal accounts, underscoring the flexibility and resilience of this healing method.
While the full narrative of Reiki’s role during World War II may remain partially obscured by the passage of time, its continued practice speaks volumes about its enduring legacy. In our next post, we’ll uncover how Reiki transcended its Japanese origins post-war and began its journey to becoming a global healing practice.
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