As I sit down to write this, 17 of the sleuths among you took the time to write down your views on the seven points I listed as “common misconceptions about aikido.” Job well done, guys! I recommend everyone read these comments.
What do you say we have some more fun? Are you up for a little more detective work? Ok, this is what we’re after… historical exchange rate equivalencies between the Japanese Yen and the US dollar. Here’s why:
“After he returned from the scouting expedition, O-Sensei began to promote a group settlement in Hokkaido and received a tremendous response. Fifty-four heads of families applied, for a total of eighty people in all. With the exception of a few families, however, most of the prospective settlers couldn’t afford the costs of relocation. O-Sensei asked his father Yoroku to contribute ten thousand yen as financial support for these less well-off families. an amount equivalent to two or three hundred thousand dollars in present-day money.” 
A Life in Aikido, by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, p. 86
“The money [the Ueshibas] needed for the move [to Ayabe], about ten thousand yen, was raised through a five-year loan using O-Sensei’s inheritance from his father as collateral.” 
Ibid, p. 117
Do the two quotes above not seem somewhat at odds to you? Think through the implications. Imagine that you are imprisoned like the Count of Monte Cristo in the Château d’If, and have plenty of time on your hands to reflect and analyze!
These elusive exchange rate equivalencies will come in handy in other instances where large sums of money are mentioned at key intervals in O-Sensei’s life. Here are the questions to be answered:
How much was ¥10,000 in 1912 equivalent to in today’s money?
How much was ¥10,000 in 1920 equivalent to in today’s money?
Please come up with the approximate equivalencies and links to the sources you used to determine the amounts in today’s money.
The answers to these questions will help us solve another controversial monetary issue that would haunt Morihei for many years and place his character in question. I’ll save that story for another time.
Lend me your brain power!