Re: Non-Japanese Shihans?
From what I understand on this issue, certain organizations within the Aikikai "umbrella" have issued the title of "shihan" to persons within their organizations. Also, Aikikai itself has also issued "official" titles of "shihan" to people as well.
There is an increasing number of non-Japanese shihan recognized by Aikikai, some of whom have been named above. I think this is a long over-due move on the part of the Aikikai, but it's good news, nonetheless.
And, for the subject of organizations with the Aikikai giving out their own "shihan" title, I think that's up to them to decide.
I havent't seen any sort of official announcement on the recent kagaki biraki promotions (either for rank or for title) from Aikikai hombu dojo yet, neither on their English nor Japanese language. If Peter Goldsbury is reading this (or Lisa is she has the time), maybe he could let us know if such an official announcement were made by Aikikai (either on the website or otherwise) that it could be made public here on AikiWeb?