Peter A Goldsbury
In Paris last March at the IAF meeting, several of us had a very interesting conversation with Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei. He was surprised to know that he was a sort of super-shihan, able to award dan grades to anyone in the world, regardless of organization. Yamada-shi was one of the first group of shihans who went overseas at the request of Kisshomaru Ueshiba.
Who else qualifies as the same kind of super-shihan as Yamada? He is visiting my country in November and giving dan exams. It was helpful to me to learn that he has a kind of cross-border authority to award dan ranks. Also I was wondering why you said he was surprised to learn about this.