Carl, I would say he was O'Sensei (great teacher) for many reasons. He was the founder, a new leader of a new art, admired by others of other arts, a phenomenon in himself, adnired and respected on a government level, almost deified on a shinto (omoto) level, afforded the honour of national treasure on a government and nation level, attracting great interest on a worldwide level, etc.etc.
Now you're mentioning it, he was really awarded with this
Put this Order of the Sacred Treasure in proper context
and tell me what you think.