I recently came back from a short Japan trip and was fortunate to train at a number of dojos in the Kansai area. One of the students told me that Aikido in Kansai was a bit different from Aikido in the Kanto region as the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo had tighter control over dojos in the north.
I was also able to train at the Osaka Aikikai Hombu Dojo. It was an enjoyable experience as the Sensei would go around and participate in the keiko as well... playing the role of both tori and uke. I noticed there were two portraits at the front of the practice area, one of O-Sensei and the other of Tanaka Bansen Sensei (I think). This was a bit different from another dojo where two photos - one of O-Sensei and the other of the second Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru were hung at the front.
Unfortunately, I didn't stay long enough to find out more. But I am curious:
1) Is it true that Aikido in Kansai is different from Aikido in Kanto?
2) What is the history of the Osaka Aikikai? I always thought that each Aikikai would have only one Hombu Dojo.