Caitlin, I've been lurking on pearl guide for a while, before I started posting. I learned about Pearl guide while looking for info about buying pearls on eBay about year ago.
I asked about Yokata, because on eBay they have some buy it now auctions for akoya strands in the mid four digits. Given all the issues with buying on eBay from international sellers, that is not the sort of thing you buy lightly. Hence I asked on Pearl-guide if anyone had any experience with them.
Honestly, I'm not sure where all of your paranoia comes from, real John Birch society stuff, with conspiracy's dating back to the 1950s.
I'm not questioning Hanadama pearls at all. I just found it interesting that whereas at the US vendors the Hanadama strands are the top of the line, at yokota, they are offering to get you an optional Hanadama certificate (for $75) on strands they call AA and some they call AAA.
That is all.