Re: O-Sensei a Shinto Priest?
Hi Maggie, Ryan,
If I may step in for a moment...
It seems as though you have stirred up a veritable hornets nest with your thoughts that Morihei Ueshiba was a Shinto priest.
I think that the disbelief that you are encountering comes from the research undertaken by many, including those in this thread, that does not support your thoughts. Many people here have read the same books that you have, (some in its original Japanese language -- "Aikido Ichiro" and "Aikido Kaiso Ueshiba Morihei Den" by Kisshomaru Ueshiba) and have walked away not having found what you are claiming.
I'm sure that should you produce a substantive piece of evidence that points to Morihei Ueshiba's having been a Shinto priest, people would be quite interested, and most likely, happy to be proven wrong. But, until then, as what you are asserting is out of the norm, the burden of proof lies with you in pointing us towards the evidence (e.g. a quote and the page number from a book) that supports your assertion.
(As far as the other evidence cited of Morihei Ueshiba having worn a white hakama, having been called a mystic, and having had a Shinto shrine in all of his dojo, I would consider all of these to be circumstantial evidence -- many folks who are not Shinto priests wear white hakama, being called a "mystic" does not confer that person with priesthood necessarily, and the presence of a Shinto "shrine" in a dojo does not its dojocho into a Shinto priest make. I believe this is what many here in this thread are objecting to.)
PS: Thanks, Ellis, for your thoughts. I'm still making up my mind of which way I want to go myself...