I obviously went through many phases of understanding but I always would go back to looking at how O'Sensei did it compared to others that followed. I would go back and look at what he meant by love and kindness and harmony and no enemies etc.etc. etc. Do you want to know how I found my answers?
Not really. What I want to know is how you looked at how O Sensei did it. You weren't looking at O Sensei actually doing it, up close and in person, so what were you looking at, exactly? And on what basis did you conclude that you therefore knew how O Sensei did it?
(although this is probably a pointless question, given your assertion about the infallibility of translation...but what the hey)