Fred Little wrote:
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.
My comment was more in the way that as O-Sensei got older he did and said some unusual things which arguably may have been related simply to the fact that his body and mind were aging. There's nothing wrong with that; it's a natural process. The point is that if the "Aikido is Love" stuff came near the end of his life, there is a viable reason to not place too much weight on it. Looking at what the Aikido the uchi-deshi wound up teaching and how few of them engage in any remarks resembling "Aikido is Love", the inclination is to go the route of not putting much weight to the comment seems probably correct. My opinion. I'm not a god, myself, although many people have told me I have the body of a god. Unfortunately, they point out that it's Hotei, the "Laughing Buddha".