Re: Aikido Shihan Kyoichi Inoue - Learning from the Kojiki
The statement is out of context, so it's hard to say, but Onisaburo Deguchi saw the earthworm as a manifestation of the Dragon God (Ryujin/Owatatsumi). Accordingly, he saw the human spirit as subordinate to that of the earthworm.
Further, Ueshiba stated at one point that this god (Ryujin) is the source of all Ki.
There's also a Ryujin Village in Tanabe, but that's probably coincidental.