One thing that does stick in my craw a little is
I am not so sure we can glibly say that something like the Hiden Mokuroku was arbitrary and fluid. From what little I know of various branches including "aiki budo" era aikido I see a remarkable consistency of technical content.
I also counter with Sagawa's statement that Takeda had an excellent memory and could pick up where he left off the next time he taught a student. Remember that there were thousands of students and he would only show up from time to time for seminars. Sagawa didn't say he would show new arbitrary stuff, the statement implies that Sagawa knew what the order was and observed Takeda picking up where he left off without repeating. You will also recall that he did the same thing at Asahi News, saying that Ueshiba has only showed you up to a point and he started teaching from that point.
Not really a big deal, but I would find any theorizing that used a lack of technical syllabus on Takeda's part as a starting point rather suspect.
You really need to look at the main branch, Kodokai, and Takumakai and then the Sagawa branch. They are NOT the same mokuroku, nor the same execution, nor the same emphasis.
How do you explain the sudden "appearance" of a Menkyo Kaiden where none existed before, with all the "techniques" attached to it?" Or the Soden of the Takamukai and some of their teachers going to learn the Syllabus of Tokimune? Sagawa's ten Gen?
There is a reason some of the guys sort of snuck around going to other schools to compare, and then word got around. Certain of that information has been validated by shihan in various branches, and some of it is public information so there is no where to go with that.
There all sorts of options available to believe whatever you want on certain topics. For instance; Takeda not being able to read:
- Takeda was by all accounts almost paranoid about safety. He made quite a show of his first rule "Leave no openings."
- He had everyone sign his registry
- He traveled with Scrolls (written by others-not too unusual in a koryu where sometimes you wrote them yourself)
- He stated clearly that he taught different people different things
- If it were true that he knew what he taught to whom (who's to say Sagawa wasn't just remembering an incident or two-many "stories" our created out of a few nostalgic remembrances) maybe he had notes on it maybe not.
I find it almost ridiculous to believe that a man of his (supposed) character would leave himself "open" to a such potential threats with a flaw so easily fixed. But that's only opinion worth the price you paid to read it.
As far as being glib.
In light of the evidence of a different syllabus school to school, of dozens of statements and interviews supporting the fact that he taught different people different things -this from both Takeda himself and his students, of interviews which stated over and over that Takeda did not teach techniques, of Tokimune openly stating he re-orgainzed the mokuroku and did not posses a copy of the Menkyo kaiden, of other interviews (many) stating that Takeda did not repeat things, that the Takumakai wanted to (had to?) record things in order to just practice them (there is a whole other story right there), That certain teachers from the Kodokai have stated that not only was the Sagawa dojo "method" different, it's aiki was different, of Sagawa having more and different scrolls than others,...And all of this in light of the fact that most Koryu have established menjo they use and refer to that are not in general "fluid" but are more or less fixed.
I think it is "glib" to believe anything other
that the fact that his art WAS fluid.