My argument in the fourth is a simple one: evidence regarding the social (or if you prefer professional) circles from which Takeda's clients and patrons were drawn tells us nothing about the quality of his character. That's not a slam, it's an observation. You can argue with the choices I gave in my examples, but from where I sit, I gave you contemporary examples of a courageous, groundbreaking justice and a disingenuous slug in black robes, a brash but effective police chief and a corrupt, loud-mouthed tool, an honorable general who was pilloried for his honesty and a sectarian bigot who sullies the uniform he wears, the point being that profession and social standing is simply not relevant to discussions of character. In every profession, some of them are good and some of them are bad. Period.
What we're left with after that is a small number of accounts that emphasize Takeda (usually in his later years) as irascible. Aside from the few accounts that Ellis cites as demonstrating his somewhat tender concern for Ueshiba, there isn't much to give evidence of the heart of gold under his grumpy persona. But we've all known crusty old bastards who were really softies underneath it all, so that's a possibility.
I'll point to articles from Aiki News that show Takeda in more of a positive light. Stans research into Daito ryu and subsequent articles from Takeda's students, his son, and a reporter show Takeda in more of a positive light than negative. And I'm only through rereading up to Issue 67.
I remember an article with a reporter. Takeda seems like a normal, older man who loves to talk and show off. I remember reading an article about Takeda going around to dojos and asking for matches. He didn't storm into dojos at all, but instead followed protocol at the time. Learning to ride a unicycle in a performing show? Doesn't sound like some cruel, grumpy man to me.