George S. Ledyard
In my opinion, one of the problems with Aikido as it is evolving is the loss of connection with it's Founder. People have only the sketchiest knowledge of what he was about. Aikikai Headquarters is not inclined to change that.
I am not sure whether I agree with you there. Certainly, knowledge of the Founder is very sketchy outside Japan. However, the present Doshu has republished his father's biography of the Founder (which is now being translated), has published a collection of the Founder's articles in the Aikido Shimbun
. His father's autobiography is still in print, and the bi-annual Aikido Tankyu
regularly contains articles about the Founder. I do not think you can blame the Aikikai for the fact that this is all in Japoanese and has not been translated.
The IAF will hold its 10th Congress in Tanabe, the birthplace of Morihei Ueshiba. We preferred Tokyo, but the City of Tanabe approached the IAF via the Aikikai Hombu, to ask us to consider holding the Congress as a kind of memorial to O Sensei. When I met Doshu recently, he stressed that a large international aikido gathering in the birthplace of the Founder would be a very good way of keeping alive the Founder's memory.
I myself never met the Founder, but I have read everything that he wrote and so, for me, this congress will be a kind of pilgrimage.