My personal belief (which is like an opinion but worth less) is some rudiment came from Chikanori that rippled like a spreadsheet of the techniques of a hodge podge Yamato-ryu (pre Daito-ryu) system probably a family art, perhaps the documentation coming from the Nishinkan school library.
Hello Mr Harrington,
Many thanks for your post.
I am curious about your reference to the Nishinkan school library. I have a plan of the Nishinkan and, as far as I can see, there was no library. In addition, Hoshina Chikanori was the name Saigo Tanomo used after the defeat of the Aizu. The sources with which I am familiar use the name Saigo Tanomo. Nor, in the Japanese sources I have, can I see any evidence in Aizu of any art called Yamato-ryu.
So, in the absence of any other sources that you might have seen and I have not, I tend to agree with Ellis, but with an important qualification: during his musha shugyo period Sokaku returned to Aizu and met his father (I do not accept Ellis's implication that he cut off all contact with his father: the evidence is lacking either way). He also met Saigo Tanomo (then Hoshina Chikanori) on a number of occasions.
Stanley Pranin (and Ellis) also talk of Saigo's diary--and what it did not contain. However, there is no mention of this in any Aizu sources with which I am familiar and Tokimune, also, does not seem to be aware of it. So I wonder if it has been published and is generally accessible.