Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?
The reason there will be no reunification is the same reason the segregation began in the first place... differing ideas, philosophies and priorities. The only difference is that now, instead of singular leadership of varying "styles", there is segregation of thinking throughout the burgeoning membership bodies made up of the succeeding generations. Regardless of whether the idealistic thinkers within the major organizations would like to see a move back toward unity, none of them wants to give up their autonomy, or their license to practice the techniques of their respective "founders".
Tohei Sensei started his organization so he could teach HIS way. Tomiki Sensei likewise, and Shioda Sensei as well. Even the Iwama style, which remained close to Aikikai largely because of mutual respect and because of Saito Sensei's intense loyalty to O'Sensei, has now moved away under the direction of Hitohiro Saito Sensei.
Add to that the widespread organizations of AAA, USAF and ASU, to name a few, who, although connected to Aikikai, are still largely autonomous. None of these organizations wants to give back the ground they've earned on their own.
There are many who say that this diversion of thinking would not have happened on O'Sensei's watch, but much of it began while he was alive. People with strong beliefs will do what they need to do to further their ideals.
I think that a more realistic goal for Aikido today is to embrace the differences, thereby gaining respect for each other, and promote the harmonious exchange of useful ideas, without the feeling that one has "cheated" or disrespected his own style. This is something that can start with the individual, but not flourish without the support of the organizations. I hope that this will eventually happen.