Re: Aikikai Pioneers in Europe
I was probably using language too loosely in the IAF article. You are right that Tamura Sensei was not the first Japanese representative of the Aikikai to go to Europe. The Aikikai are said to have 'sent' many shihans to Europe as representatives, but they were not really 'sent' and the 'representation' was to make their time there 'official' in some sense. The Aikikai actually had no real clue about setting up an organization outside Japan and relied on the information that people like Mochizuki and Nakazono told them.
Noro certainly went to France and still lives there, but I do not think his brief extended beyond France and he left the Aikikai some time afterwards. I think that only Tamura went with the intention of actually setting up a network of organizations in France, Spain, Holland and Belgium, which he had done by the time the IAF was created in 1975. Other shihans went to reside in Europe, but Tamura was the only shihan to be regarded as a representative for Europe as a whole. Tamura Shihan was supposed to be the focus of a European Hombu, but things did not quite work out as expected.
Best wishes (and I should revise that article and others I have written for Aikido Journal: when I have the time...)