Sorry for the delay in response but my work computer is down and I just got a moment to play catch up (no I don't have a home computer)
Regarding Shiohai….. In short, I don’t know for sure and don’t want to give out the wrong information. I think that a few other people who are viewing this forum but still afraid to venture into these waters might know a little more than what I can provide (hint to those peering in)….
Regarding ‘Head of Isshinshorinji’
…. Very dangerous question to ask given the history and feelings everyone has… Chris Wissman stated a very subtle and most likely the most accurate comments…. My take on this (and most likely will be debated by others) is that if Soke didn’t close the original schools, then we wouldn’t be having this debate as everyone would know that he was the ‘Grandmaster’ and a successor would have been named. However, under that same assumption, we would see an entirely different ‘system’ than we see now…. Since Soke closed the schools, Ralph Chirico took over the name of ‘Grandmaster’ in the public school arena Soke maintained his reputation as the Grandmaster and continued to teach others giving them license to teach the system. Some maintained the name IsshinShorinji (like James Chapman and Rod Lindgren) and some changed the name with his blessing (Al and Anita Santucci)… Being so far away from Soke and lack of contact made the school under James Chapmen start to do things their own way (for self preservation) and cannot be frowned upon if they did name their own ‘Grandmaster’ as they felt they were ‘left for dead’…. Back in NJ Soke named Dean Ansari to be the ‘Grandmaster’.
So in essence, we may have 4 or 5 people who claim to be the ‘Grandmaster’ because our system took a lot of turns and twists and back and forths… One might say a grandmaster to each era of the 'system'... In the end, it doesn’t matter as all that matters is the principles Soke left behind.
Jude33, I thank you for your interest in this thread… A bit confused by your original post and what it meant. But that may be because I am mentally burned out right now… But it does bring about a question I always ask people… How do we get men back to being men?... Albeit a lot of philosophy and ‘semantics’ as to what you consider a man to be…. Nevermind, I’m just being philosophic now!
I hope to contribute more in the future once my computer is fixed.