Tamura Sensei, 9th Dan?
Yamada Sensei recently reported in his Aikido East Newsletter the following, "Tamura Sensei was recently promoted to 9th dan but he humbly refused it."
Any comments or thoughts about this? Mine are that there are so few people ever to reach this level in Aikido, I personally wish he would have accepted because in doing so, it opens the door for other worthy people to be offered the same in the future. To accept that degree with Tamura not having it could also cause others to do the same because of their respect for him.
Koichi Tohei once said that he had been offered the 10th dan many times but was pressed into it by O Sensei. It seems from my reading of his description that the organization had a "need" to promote Tohei at that time. I gathered that there were others they wanted to promote but politically, it would have caused trouble unless Tohei, the Chief Instructor at Aikido World headquarters, went first. The Aikikai is running short of 9th Dan's and these kinds of promotions always have political implications. Some interesting points are
1) The openness on the part of the Aikikai to continue the 9th Dan. 2) Was there a need to honor Tamura Sensei (who surely deserved it) so as to also elevate others such as Yamada Sensei who is junior to Tamura Sensei?
I also thought Yamada Sensei's discussion about promotions was very interesting.