Okay the Bujinkan under Hatsumi Sensei is or will be applying it appears to become a religious organization in Japan. Now in Budo Taijutsu as in many Japanese systems there has always been and element of Shintoism because of the Kamidana, etc. So from my understanding in order to maintain the Bujinkan as a organization after Hatsumi's passing he is or will be changing it to a religious organization so that the Government does not seize all the assets.
For further details please see: http://www.kutaki.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4353&forum=10 (especially the first post by Shawn)
This is Hatsumi Sensei's organization and as the Soke of it he is attempting to insure it's long term survival. Other systems in Japan like Shorinji Kemp and I believe several Koryu systems like Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu also have Shrines and I belive are or may be also classified as a religious organization. So it is certainly not unheard of in Japan.
Brian et al,
The issue of religion is not of any concern for me. Not because I am not training in the art, but it is nothing for me to be concerned about.
My confusion is the following and maybe it is obvious to those on the inside, so I apologize if it is.
When Hatsumi Sensei retires does he not name a new Soke? If so do they not then also get access to the training grounds as part of the transfer? Or is this an issue of someone inheirits the land that is not training?
Apparently Japanese inheritance law is a little different and there is a fear that many of the artifacts that Soke has would be taxed/taken if they are not some how protected. I do think other people could do more justice to this than I.