George S. Ledyard
Japan finds itself in a very difficult position.
I snipped the rest because I think your very first sentence is *the* major point.
Aikikai HQ allowing non-Japanese instructors to teach or mentioning them on the website? Bah, doesn't matter one whit until they change something else.
Non-Japanese having something to teach hombu? Bah, doesn't matter one whit until something else changes.
That change is in *what* they teach to others. How many non-Japanese students were taught those important skills? In Shioda's lineage, how many non-Japanese students came even close to being as good as Shioda? How many Japanese? Tohei's lineage? Tomiki's lineage? Ueshiba's lineage? In your own organization, who, out of all of Saotome sensei's long time students, has reached closest to Saotome sensei's skill level? One person of Japanese heritage or many of various heritages? (I'm not in the ASU, so I really don't have an answer to that question. But it's an important question that should be answered by every student in every organization.)
Out of 20-40 years of training, why hasn't anyone reached their teacher's level? Why aren't people asking this question more often? Why is it that in the Japanese organizations, only a sparse few ever go beyond the norm? In 20-40 years, Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Hisa, Tomiki, Shioda, Tohei, Mifune, etc, etc, were all giants. Some better than others, but all were giants.
Anyone with researching ability can dig up and find that a sparse few people have gone beyond the norm because they were *taught* how to. Not because they were special. Because they were *taught* other things. Takeda and Ueshiba rarely taught the same technique twice. When asked why, Ueshiba answered they were all the same.
Until people are actually *taught*, it won't matter one iota what the Aikikai Hombu does in regards to non-Japanese. These people will just be tokens with no real substance.
I'm starting to get the idea that the Japanese only taught these powerful basics to a very select few -- maybe even amongst themselves. Until *that* changes, nothing else will really matter.