In the 1970s Matsuoka and Soto Shu in Japan parted ways, and few of his Dharma heirs are seen as legitimate teachers. Taiun Michael Elliston is an exception to this common perception. As one of Matsuoka's senior students, Elliston is generally respected in his field and has himself made attempts at reconnecting with the Soto school. Author James Ishmael Ford writes, "It is possible that within a few years, this one branch, at least, of the Matsuoka line will rejoin the normative Soto tradition." In August 2007, Shohaku Okumura and Seirin Barbara Kohn have given Dharma transmission to Taiun Michael Elliston to help legitimize Elliston's previous transmission in the sometimes disputed lineage of Soyu Matsuoka.