…So there was no minimum grade for wearing [a hakama]?

Tamura Shihan:  No. In fact, it is I, myself, who am indirectly and unintentionally responsible for the fact that no longer does everyone wear the hakama right from the start. Back when I was an uchideshi, I was also charged with teaching [aikido] at various universities. But in the years after the war, more so than today, the students were often impoverished. Because of that, some of them were unable to train; so for this reason I asked Kisshomaru Sensei if it might be possible for them not to buy a hakama until their second year of training…”

– – – Tamura Nobuyoshi Shihan, interview in Dragon magazine, cited in Le Kinomichi: Le chef-d’oeuvre de Maitre Masamichi Noro by Bernard Hevin, p.130

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