Hyakuten Sensei and other Reiki Teachers who teach & learn Japanese Reiki mentioned about Kotodama. Kotodama means sacred voice, chant or Mantra.
When we invoke the Reiki (energy), we use symbols & kotodamas. Each symbol and each kotodama has a specific vibration or energy. Example of Reiki Symbol #1, we draw the symbol and we recite the name CKR(Kotodama). It is not necessary to know the meaning. Sound/Mantra gives vibration. Sound/mantra gives deep meaning.
Symbols are shapes, such as marks and letters( e.g: kanji) and are considered as the connection/ antenna to tune into the universal energy.
Symbols and Kotodamas are vehicles, to guide us in connecting with Reiki, Energy of Universe and higher dimension. Symbols and Kotodamas(mantras) are not Reiki. The only possibility to use them is through the traditional initiation within the scope of the Reiki system.
Hyakuten Sensei makes us aware on the use of Symbols and Kotodamas: The Master Symbol; One Great Bright Light. ” Once we become One Great bright Light ourselves, we have to let go the symbols/ mantras. Be the Master symbol yourself and you don’t need any outside help. We transcend the needs of outside help”.
That is why we have to let go of symbols.
Practice, practice and practice until we get there, until all symbols become a part of you..
A little anecdote: I heard some of my friends when I talk about Reiki, saying ” I am not sure I can memorize Reiki symbols”!!!