I think the key to understanding Ueshiba's frustrations - and I am beginning to believe his "giving up" at trying change them- is not an issue of an old man not liking change, but rather one of him knowing that what they were training would never produce his aiki.
And he was right.
This is the core puzzle for me. The man wasn't stupid. Why did he think that training people in a way he didn't train would teach them what he knew?
Did he think it was up to them to come looking for it? But he had lots of very sincere students. Why didn't they learn what he had? Or if they did, why couldn't they pass it on to their students?
We know he did solo exercises with his uchideshi. Why didn't they teach them to their students in turn? When they did introduce solo exercises (Tohei, Tomiki), why are they so devoid of internal power? Why did these shihan feel the need to invent new solo exercises, anyway?
When I read the currently active "grounding and centering" thread, all I could think of was to send the guy off to study Bagua because there's so little in mainstream Aikido to help him. Isn't that pathetic? ("Mainstream" meaning that if you go into a random Aikido dojo anywhere, you're likely to encounter it. Exceptional teachers and dojos do, of course, exist.)