Dear Mr. Lyons:
Congradulations on starting Aikido. I hope in the near future your experiences will grow along with your knowledge of the history of Aikido. I must say for not having yet spend years on the mat you have already accumulated a wealth of Aikido history. I think you're interest in the role of Aikido after WWII is a very interesting one that perhaps you might want to look at from many different angles besides one people are inclined to look at. That being that Aikido somehow trancended all the ill will of the conflicts that have occured in the world over the past hundred years. Alot of what Osensei understood when he pledged his form determining it to be Aikido, was that the WWII, like all wars, would come to and end. And in the end, what would become of the victor, and what of the loser? Who would be subject to who's laws? What's the truth? How would people's lives change?
All were questions that Osensei had when he was developing the aiki ideology and, moreover, he was greatly concerned with the preservation of the history of all peoples. The culture of Japan as well as the culture of China, Korean, and the U.S. would all be lost if not for some greater truth as to their relevence. As these theaters of conflict came to a close, Osensei understood this responsibility, along with the former doshu, that in order to maintain a strong truth to the culture of Japan, it would be necessary to maintain the idea of love and harmony through the practices that had given them life. Therein Aikido helped to preserve the aspects of a culture Japan feared would die after the occupation, and became a symbol of true faith in Aiki. So great a faith in fact, that today it has spread like a flood and taught people around the world that in preserving oneself, you are preserving your true nature, culture.
None of this commentary I can attribute without research. If you are interested in reading some incredible literary pieces on the subject, may I suggest, works by John Stevens sensei, George Leonard Sensei, Tohei sensei, Abe sensei, Wendy Palmer sensei, Saotome sensei, and Saito sensei. I'm more than sure after finishing Aikido no Kokoro by Kisshimaru doshi, you'll want to know more about Aikido and the past. And that may be the greatest of all Aikido techniques.
Best in your training,