In Shobukan News, Oct 2000, Saotome: "I studied with O sensei altogether 20 years." Perhaps it was a bad transcription by an overzealous student. Perhaps it was memory drift. Perhaps it is bad manners to draw attention to it at all.
No, it really isn't. These things need be said. But all the drama need not be added to it. Context is everything. With all the the B.S. that has been slung, by the Japanese Shihans about the training and History I stand firm that there is a common good in hearing confirmed dates, and who's who. That many things stand in stark contrast to what had been previously said, is on them
and not us. No one put a gun to their heads when they started to re-write the history of aikido. Nor when they discussed their own involvement. Lapses in memory, and flat out lies are totally different, seen as different and discussed as BEING different.
It is interesting to note that when Stan made it known that he was looking at signatures and sign-in sheets and dated mokurokus and that this was being photographed and documented...and that so and so, said such and such...cough...a factual and more detailed chronology magically appeared. That should speak volumes about the capabilites for fact and truth that Japanese Shihan's were capable of delivering.....on a dime.
That said, some stories were innocent, others a white wash, others self serving, others right and varied. It can be a judgement call where nuance and relationship and cultural understanding and context play out. Chris and others understand that VERY well, more than most, and I found most of the commentary here was balanced and observational