Re: Fact or Fiction (of Morihei Ueshiba's Life)
Sorry for thread drift, but it seems if the underlying issue is one of reliability, the concept of "hearsay" is a red herring.
As a technical legal matter, for, example, the statement by Shioda is still hearsay, because the account was not given in court and under oath. See Fed. Rules of Evidence, Rule 801 ("'Hearsay' is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.").
Then again, so would be an eye-witness account given out of court by any person, regardless of how trustworthy the person and how reliable their basis of information.
The lay definition of "hearsay" is "rumor," according to Webster's on-line. By that standard, an eye-witness account is not "hearsay."
All of which, of course, is different from whether non-hearsay is more reliable than hearsay. The testimony of a perjurer is not hearsay, under the legal definition or the common sense one. It's still false.
Scholars have their own standards of documentation, which may be better suited for the kind of question being posed here. The reasons, for example, to credit Shioda's account have already been listed, and they provide an argument for believing he saw something that he tried honestly to describe.