It seems Tomiki keeps on surprising me. It's like Amdur's phrase of hidden in plain sight. Tomiki was a genius and he knew the giants of his time: Ueshiba, Kano, and Mifune.
From this article by Tomiki:
There's a small excerpt that I'll quote.
It was during this time of general decline that Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu was revived, first by Takeda Sogaku (1860-1943) and then by Morihei Ueshiba,who was Takeda's leading disciple and the man who would succeed Takeda as the head of aikido. Daito-ryu was a school of jujutsu that had been handed down for many generations in the old Aizu prefecture and was justly praised by Master Kano. Kano's praise was natural, as it takes genius to see genius. Indeed, the achievements Kano and Ueshiba are, in the annals of Japanese budo, stupendous. Kano's work as a martial artist is more well know, but Ueshiba, who was an especially pious person, expanded our understanding of the limits of enlightenment and of the unity of god and man. He also changed the name of the art from aikijujutsu to aikido, established a dojo in Tokyo in the first years of the Showa period (1925-1989), and propagated aikido both in Japan and around the world.
Ueshiba took Takeda's Daito ryu and/or aiki and transformed it. As Tomiki wrote, Ueshiba "expanded our understanding of the limits of enlightenment and of the unity of god and man." But, he didn't do that by softly blending with the Universe and stepping into golden lights. He did that by long, hard work at Daito ryu's aiki skills. You can't have Aikido without that long, hard work and you can't have Aikido without that expanded spirituality. Both are needed. With only one, you have aikido, the generic term. Not Aikido, Ueshiba's art.