Amazing article, Professor Goldsbury. Your previous articles were certainly good, but I think with this one you've taken the discussion to another level.
As I understand it, Ueshiba was initially against the formation of the Kobukai (later Aikikai), and opening aikido up to the public, and was eventually persuaded by Kisshomaru. If this is true, where do you think this fits into the over all context you've provided here? The Kobukai was instituted before the war was lost, but aikido didn't become open to the public until after the war. Is this perhaps the result of a little tatemae timeline fudging? Or was Ueshiba merely so concerned with his own personal shugyo that he didn't care for any organization of aikido, be that association with the nationalistic Butokukai, or a more "benign" organization that appeased SCAP and followed Kisshomaru's vision?
Thank you for the comments.
I think O Sensei had a more complex attitude to organizations than you suggest. In 1932 he became Chairman of the Dai Nippon Budo Senyou-kai at the request of Onisaburo Deguchi, who was the President. As you know, the main dojo for this Omoto organization was in Takeda, in Hyogo Prefecture, and it appears to have been run as a farm-dojo, rather like Iwama became. There appear to have been two dojos and members of the public (presumably Omoto believers) were able to train. When he was not there himself, the instructors were Ueshiba's uchi-deshi, most of whom had no links with Omoto.
I do not think that the creation of the Zaidan Houjin Kobukai in 1940 was synonymous with opening aiki-budo to the general public. Judging from Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of Ueshiba, the impetus this time came from people like Takeshita Osamu and Ueshiba's wealthy benefactors. The effect was to make the dojo a legal entity, but it still functioned as a closed dojo, with access to training only by recommendation.
After the war, it was Kisshomaru who took the initiative in quietly restarting the Kobukai in 1948 (this time as the Zaidan Houjin Aikikai), again with the assistance of political friends. In Aikido Ichiro
Kisshomaru states that his father left him to it.