Amand - I'm going to guess that you haven't read my book. If I'm wrong, my apologies. I cover all of this - including Sagawa's opinion and others as well - in considerable detail, including the evidence that the Saigo family was of Chinese descent (as concubines to the Tokugawa, through the female line).
Just a general request here from my end - and perhaps Peter's as well - I do not want to rewrite the book here. I doubt Peter wants to go through the last 17 chapters of TIE to answer questions previously answered. Here, my discussion points will be a 3rd stage, a response to what Peter (and others) have responded to in my writing. In short, remember, this is a discussion on TIE 18, not on HIPS. For the latter, people are certainly welcome to reopen some of the many threads that are on this cite from appr. one year ago. I'll be happy to respond to "base-line" questions of my work there - after the poster has read the book.
Yes. The Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation
(TIE) columns are an attempt to write an extended intellectual / philosophical / cultural history of Ueshiba and aikido: the major aim is to place Ueshiba as firmly as possible in the context of the time in which he lived.
Somewhere along the line, I learned about Ellis's book. In fact, I read an earlier pre-publication draft and have read the published book about 20 times. (In fact, my early copy is so well-thumbed that I am going to have to obtain another one.) Since there is so much common here with my own researches, I decided that the book needed a detailed review, which has appeared specifically in the last three TIE columns. For the issues raised by Ellis need(ed) a detailed and extended discussion, of wider scope than offered in usual Internet blogs or forums.
Future columns, also, will deal in passing with issues raised in the book.