Peter A Goldsbury
You have explained the difference between my own methods and your approach very clearly. This column presents Morihei Ueshiba in his own words as far as possible and leaves the reader to judge. The fact of the move to Iwama is right there, with the texts. I think the political situation in Manchuria is a different matter. I do not think we know to what extent Manchuria was a factor in Ueshiba's decision to move to Iwama. The evidence is lacking.
You are certainly correct, the objective goes as far as you take it and not much further at the moment. But -- in understanding a man, as they say, walk a mile in his moccasins. When I address issues of mechanics I seek a high degree of objective description (admittedly, annoyingly so to many, perhaps). When I am examining motivations and intentions, it requires, in my experience, an interior approach that steps one pace beyond the objective. Since he expressed himself mythically, it seems appropriate to seek his understanding mythically and at face value in its own terms. I am not about to worship Sarutahiko or commune with O Sensei as the embodiment of Murakumo-Kuki-Samuhara Ryu-O, but he did feel that way, those thoughts begin to dominate his discussions not merely post-war, but specifically post- 1942. They have meaning and consequence that are useful to examine in their context.
To put the issue on point however, given the prior association with Genyosha, Sakurakai and all manner of passionate Emperor devotees, is it not the case that something fairly terrible had to have occurred to have him express an plain intention to assist in opposing the divine
Imperial will, as opposed to merely satisfying the Occupation authorities that he became politically opposed to the war after 1942?
If one would suggest that the point is in fabricating a cover up or figleaf for his prior associations in service of a new tatemae
after the Occupation -- why do so (at that point) in such subtle, mystical terms that mean little or nothing to Westerners ? Why not simply point to the retreat to Iwama, say that he became disillusioned and opposed to the war and that was why he removed himself from public life. Put to you another way, and in your terms-- what evidence is there that would suggest this mythological exposition is in service of tatemae
and not honne