George makes the very valid comment on my post about kyoshi, that sitting the test in Japanese, stops foreigners with insufficient knowledge, from passing shogo on an uneven playing field. I still think that what writing in Japanese best tests is your ability to write Japanese.
I do agree that non Japanese kendoka have much less theoretical and philosophical information available to them, despite the efforts of FIK and the guys at Kendo World. Having said that, I am sure that the depth to which people wish to explore the spiritual and technical aspects depends on their personality rather than their nationality. I have reached this conclusion pretty much by guesswork, as in my experience British and Japanese men share the inability to talk about anything serious with other men. Not for us an evening in a cafe on the Boulevard des Capucins nursing a glass of absinthe and discussing existentialist philosophy. We are more likely to spend our soiree with 12 bottles of Sapporo in Shinjuku or Dotombori and a conversation that roams around the weather, the best place to eat Korean barbecue and the fact that old Suzuki has just married a woman half his age.
So although our relationships are based on kendo, I really do not have a clue about their view on kendo philosophy or their motivation to devote such a large slice of their life to continued keiko. I do however know whether they prefer sweet or dry sake, red or white wine and the names of their children and pets.
I have had verbal explanations of kendo theory and philosophy, but they have come from very senior sensei, mostly Hanshi and mostly over the age of sixty. My pet theory is that only when teachers reach this level do they have the confidence to express an opinion on the more esoteric aspects of kendo. More often than not though, they do this in writing, keeping to practical and physical instruction in the dojo. This brings then brings us back to my starting point that most of these writings are in Japanese and not available to western students.
Language issues aside, I beleive that most sensei will do their best to answer questions, no matter how complex, although it is far more likely that you will be taken seriously if the question is appropriate to your level of kendo development. Curiosity is a valuable attribute, but I personally do not think there is much value in trying to understand fudoshin on the second week of the beginners course. It is even more imperative that students do not get too creative with their interpretation of terminology until they are sure of all the answers. Many years ago a dojo in Scotland was named after “The bullet sword”, unfortunately the Shinkanken dojo was named using the characters for The New Trunk Sword.