Time and time again, the gov't used eccentric organizations as (using Fred's phrase) - "cat's paws" to get entry into an area. Then, if they were shot up, or they successfully executed an incident or even a coup d'etat, the gov't could then move in to impose order. Manchuria was taken over by just this means, and the (relatively) idealistic Ishihara Kanji then sidelined by pragmatists after the Kwantung Army took over Manchuko "on it's own."
The Mukden railway bombing that prompted the Manchurian takeover was done by Kanji Ishiwara (who, not oddly, trained in Germany) and number of other a junior army officers, and he was the one who ordered the seizure of Manchurian cities in response.
This is a consistent pattern. Navy officers and other radicalized service cadet assassinated Prime Minister Inukai in '32 and the Kodoha attempted a putsch in '36. With 300,000 plus blood signatures supporting the murderers at their trial, there is no seeming need for a hidden hand. In all of this, there no hint of need to hide behind civilian agents provocateurs. The banana republic politics of the warring Kodoha and Toseiha factions after 1932 are nothing if not overt in their plays for power, to say nothing of the Sakurakai waiting on the sidelines.
Ueshiba does not seem merely tossed about from shore to shore like a hapless raft in these seas. He was a able sailor who used the winds and current -- which were going elsewhere -- to get where he wanted to go. And when they could take him nowhere safely, he wisely took harbor in Iwama, and told his son to keep the boat from sinking or burning at the dock. And to give yet more proof to the point, in a far less advantageous position he continued the pattern after the war when he (together with his son) leveraged the association with America that Takeshita had begun for both judo and aikido before the War into re-authorization of his training under his son's administration after the War was over.