Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?
A very Happy New Year to you, too. I also look very much forward to seeing you in Japan in 2017.
Yes, I had the chance to meet Somemiya Sensei several times. He was a close friend of Isoyama Sensei. When I was helping our Danish Aikido Federation gain Hombu recognition back in the day, Somemiya Sensei was one of the main representatives from the International Department I met with. He also came together with Isoyama Sensei to teach a seminar in Copenhagen. It was Isoyama Sensei's seminar, but Isoyama Sensei wanted Somemiya Sensei to teach a class, too. It was very interesting experiencing his teachings.
I think that the concept of "michibiku" is central to Aikido, and as you mention, when feeling the different Sensei's waza, you can sense their individual "michibiki" - and feel the differences and similarities. As I mention in my article that I have written for Ellis (I hope it will be available soon here on Aikiweb), Saito Sensei's michibiki was surprisingly soft. It might have felt different in his early days, but in my time with him it was soft and strong. Interesting!