Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
I've never heard of 4th dan tests before.
The Hombu rules state that 1st dan to 4th dan can be awarded either through a test or by recommendation (the latter more expensive). It is the practice in some dojos to submit the papers to the Hombu as if the test was actually conducted (thus at the cheaper rate), but without the actual test. To my mind this is unethical and so I have made it known to all the 3rd dans in the organization that I am technically responsible for, that they have a choice for their 4th dan, but that a 4th dan by examination means exactly what it says.
Ranks from 5th dan upwards are awarded by recommendation and given out at the Kagami-biraki ceremony in January.