Re: Hakama for non-yudansha
I also train in a dojo that follows its parent tradition in having hakama only for dan ranks. I don't question this because as a student I'm not in a position to do.
Once in a dan seminar I forgot to bring my hakama. So there were 20 yudansha with hakama and me (the only one in underwear). that was kind of embarrasing.
Anyway, I've trained in a dojo where nobody wears one, so I didn't wear mine (and felt "naked" without my "parachute"). But, as mentioned before, when in Rome....
On the other hand sometimes some kyugrades with hakama participate at our seminars, that's fine. I just look at the colour of their belt, just to make shure I don't overdo it at the first technique. But some people seem to know ways of tieing their hakama so you can't see the belt at all.....
I don't see any reasons why women should wear it from an earlier rank on out of modesty reasons. That's strange to me. Where I train all rules are the same formen and women.
I personally are not concerned about hakama and rank, but I know others who are.