I've always been attracted by Japanese Culture. Though I never found a way to study it more deeply until now. Aikido has been a gate to begining study it.
I think that if you study it,and get involved with it kind of gives you a better and insightful view. Is not the same someone who studies something as an observer and someone who gets involved with what he is studing.
I believe that's not mandatory to lear from Japanese culture to study Aikido, but you're waisting most of its teachings if you don't try to see beyond the physical aspect of a technique.