So I heard a rumor that non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore.
Dan Harden made the following assertion in a comment to Aikido Journal about George Ledyard's excellent blog, "Does Aikido Exist Anymore?":
"There is a clear hint that there will be no more shihan ranks given out to non Japanese and that they want ONLY shihan from Japan to spread the art and keep it pure."
Again, these were Harden's words, not Ledyard's. Harden said that he based this claim on an AikiWeb post by Peter Goldsbury. I believe he was referring to post #61 in this thread:
It's probably best to begin by reading post #59 in that thread, by Ledyard.