Re: Legacy and the Founder
Francis mentioned my name in the post above, but I think I should make it clear that my direct experience of aikido in the USA consists of two amazing years spent training in the New England Aikikai (at the old dojo in Central Sq.) when I was at Harvard. I arrived in the US in September 1973 and returned to the UK in the autumn of 1975. The USAF had not yet been created and K Chiba had just returned to Japan from the UK.
In some sense, I am reminded of Wittgenstein's famous dictum:
'Those things of which we cannot speak we pass over in silence',
but would change 'cannot' to 'do not'.
The names of K Tohei and M Saotome were simply not uttered. Y Yamada and A Tohei occasionally visited from New York and Chicago, respectively. One of these occasions was the papal visit made by Doshu in 1974 (he was actually going to Hawaii to meet K Tohei, but we rank and file had only the dimmest of ideas why). K Osawa made a visit in 1975, I believe, and I think he was accompanied by M Fujita and N Suganuma.
I had a distant American relative and her husband was a 'Boston brahmin', whose family had always gone to Harvard. He encouraged me to see the other side of America--the Mid-West and California, but he couldn't help sounding like an Englishman advising me to see Africa and experience how the 'other races' lived.
Anyway, I was training very intensively in the Cambridge dojo and so (1) I had no exposure at all to US aikido 'politics' and (2) the furthest I ever got to California was Vancouver, after a rail trip across Canada.