Originally posted by Erik
Saotome, in his book, tells a story about one time when he forgot to bring his hakama to class and O'Sensei made him stay off the mat. At least on occasion he made an issue out of it.
True, but Saotome was an uchi-deshi at the time, and would have been held to a much different standard than the average Aikido-dude. Certainly there were people training with M. Ueshiba without hakama - somewhere there's a film of a young Moriteru Ueshiba training with no hakama at Iwama, no less.