Mike Sigman wrote:
He awarded a woman dance teacher a 10th dan in Aikido and was seen in public demonstrations with her... notice how it's very difficult to find any mention of this in the literature. In other words, there was a certain amount of behavior and pronouncements that most of the Japanese surrounding O-Sensei sort of studiously avoid talking about.
Having talked with at least senior practitioner who saw the woman in question perform a piece in which (I am told) she danced an entire life cycle from youth through old age, and despite her advanced age at the time, managed to precisely convey the qualities of emotional affect and movement of her character at each of those stages, I don't find this particular story terribly baffling.
In the context of Japanese society, it seems unlikely that there was any risk of her opening her own martial arts school on the basis of the certificate, a kind of abuse of honorary rankings we have seen too often here in the States.
One can also think of such an award as a slap upside the head of those of his students at the time that were under the impression that all they were studying was a body of martial arts technique.
None of which means that he was the easiest man in the world to be around. At the end of the day, even an incarnate god is human, and the limits of being human are evident all around us.