Re: Non-Japanese Shihans?
This post is intended as a supplement to Chris Li's.
The Shihan rules can be found on the Aikikai's web site under the general heading "Furoku". The rules are the fourth item under this heading. Since they have not been translated, reading them will be a good chance for students of Japanese to test their skills. Notice that the rules apply to organizations outside Japan that are officially recognized by the Aikikai. They are not related to the shihan promotions made by individual instructors within their own organizations.
A committee meets each year to decide on the applications and the results are communicated to the organizations that propose the candidates and, where appropriate, to the candidates themselves. The results are not made available to the general public, either in the "Aikido Shimbun" or on any web site. Thus, it will be pointless to ask Chris Li or myself who has been awarded the title.
In an earlier post, the recommendation was made to 'leave the politics to the politicians'. I think the only political issue here has been the obvious difference between Japan and the rest of the world and the only 'politics' that I can see has been done, sometimes with great reluctance, by those who want to see this imbalance corrected.
The kagami-biraki dan promotions are made public in the "Aikido Shimbun". This publication appears twice each month and the promotions for 2005 will appear in the next issue or the one after that.