George S. Ledyard
As Peter G has pointed out "Shihan" overseas and "Shihan" at Hombu are two separate things as far as headquarters is concerned. If they are going to have a double standard about the title, they might as well abolish it for foreigners and stick with Hombu Instructors only being Shihan.
If they keep telling us we don't matter, then I can't see how they continue to matter to us.
If this is true, then we should separate from them. I say get rid of the ranking system altogether. Too many problems, too much politics.