Shiatsu therapy was founded by Tokujiro Namikoshi. He was a natural healer, as a young boy he was able to treat his mother’s rheumatoid arthritis, and decided to develop his skills so that he could teach others.
In 1940, he established the Japan Shiatsu College in Tokyo. His method of healing has spread, but as it has spread it has acquired its own flavours and variations, for example Tadashi Izawa developed a derivative called ‘Meridian Shiatsu’ and Shizuto Masunaga a derivative called 'Zen Shiatsu', which has become very popular.
It is worth adding that Namikoshi treated over 100,000 patients and saw more than 20,000 students graduate from his school. He died, age 95, in 2000.