Kotodama is a thick layer of extremely rich icing on this linguistic cake. It takes all the common elements of homophone association and uniqueness and adds the spiritual aspects found in such activities as chinkon and kishin. One of the reasons for the first suppression of Omoto is that chinkon kishin became very widely used and Ayabe became awash with people in swoons and trances, all exhibiting signs of so-called spirit possession. Were they all pretending? Was Morihei Ueshiba pretending? Was Odano pretending when she had her vision of the kanji? I doubt it.
Why leave it at pretence? There is just as much legitimacy to call it misguided. There are certain practices known to screw with the energy in the body and mess with your mind / body relationship -seen as general health, mental health and so on.
The mere mention of these things leaves one open to panoply of issues: belief in the supernatural, belief in God, a God, a host of gods. And that leaves the discussion open to the idea of evil-spirits, good-spirits, angels and demons and so on.
1. There are any number of self-induced or chemically induced trances in many cultural practices which are all associated with a particular belief of one kind or another. As such where do they- as a group-offer valid evidence of their associated practices and individual beliefs?
2. Where are others associated with the Kotodama that have produced a physical power that they were known for it in any significant manner?
On a practical level with our feet on the ground
Although it is only a limited part of Peters overal study I would guess there are those -like me- spending time reading these columns and associated recent books on the topic of Ueshiba's power and potential origins: "Transparent power" and "Hidden in Plain Site" (examining the source of Ueshiba's power), for sources of his power. We have seen stark proof of those who used the DR methods and produced real power, but not much else.
I have been fascinated to read those attempting to make the case for other sources for power building. With these columns I was intrigued and hoping to see an examination of the kotodama and Omoto believers demonstrating other supposed power building methods of Ueshiba- as they deserve equal examination. Evidence for questionable spiritual effects notwithstanding- It would very interesting to see evidence for the practices as a means for power building affecting Ueshiba's peers in those same practices.
It appears-as yet-there is still no smoking gun. It has been an interesting walk though