BTW, I had heard about the Tojo - Ueshiba connection. The way I heard it, there was a closer connection than just Tojo sending students, but then I'm no Prof. Goldsbury and I can't recall my source, much less site it, so . . . whatever . . . I think there is plenty of other stuff coming out . . . for those with the eyes to see.
Here are some quotations from Stanley Pranin's interviews with Shigenobu Okumura Sensei. Unfortunately, Okumura Sensei recently passed away at the age of 86. I last spoke to him about a year ago and his mind was still very sharp. He showed me the military passbook he still carried with him, from the time he was a soldier. His death, like that of Sadateru Arikawa, robs the aikido world of yet another original source of aikido history.
"Originally, Rinjiro Shirata Sensei was supposed to have come to be the aikido instructor at our university. However, when Shirata Sensei was drafted, he was replaced by Kenji Tomiki Sensei instead. In those days Tomiki Sensei was an instructor for the Kenpeitai (military police). In 1936 or 1937, Hideki Tojo was chief of staff of the Kanto army in China and took the lead in practicing aikido and was a benefactor although he and Ueshiba Sensei didn’t have direct contact with each other. Although Mr. Tojo never learned the art directly from Ueshiba Sensei, he knew it through Tomiki Sensei. When a military police school was established in Nakano, aikido became a subject in the school’s regular curriculum. In about 1941 I went there with O-Sensei."
"Yes, after Manchuria was established. He used to go there to get away from Japan. You know of Hideki Tojo. When he was a provost marshall in Shinkyo (in China) before he returned to Japan, he adopted Aikido as part of the military police training. He selected Mr. Tomiki and Mr. Ohba as shihan. He himself did Aikido. He practiced a lot."
"No, Mr. Tomiki was actually recruited from the Kobukan Dojo to go to Manchuria by Hideki Tojo. Tojo had become the provost marshal of the Guangdong Army sometime before Kenkoku University was established. Mr. Tomiki came to Manchuria and set up the Tomiki Dojo in Daiyagai. He was the Manchukuo government’s official aiki bujutsu teacher at Daido Gakuin and also an instructor to the military police. Kenkoku University was established a little later, in 1938, and from then on Hideo Oba taught the military police while Mr. Tomiki went to Kenkoku University as an assistant professor. At that point he was still teaching aikido as he had learned it from Ueshiba Sensei, in other words, without the competitive matches he later introduced."
So, there you are.