Very nice essays, Sara, well written and to my eye, quite accurate. I hope you stay active as a voice in Buddhism in the West.
My point of view on matters of ethics and behavior is that we are fortunate that we have suttas and sutras that provide a very nice roadmap for ethical boundaries in Buddhist practice. It would be a shame that we had only our sense of Japanese Zen tradition to inform us as to how to conduct ourselves on the Path forward. As you note, the nature of Japanese government strictures forced on monasteries change...changes that fell outside the usual rules for monastic conduct.
When modern American Zen teachers are found to be having cocktails, multiple girlfriends, and eating lavishly in the evening, it suggest to me that they are taking for granted the suffering of the historic Japanese experience, and forgetting that in the modern West, we need to revert more to the Vinaya and/or Bodhisattva Precepts. Zen in the West needs to become more grounded, more traditional in the face of eroding ethical boundaries, IMO.
Zen in the West will become more vibrant, more influential, to the extent that it can act as a counter weight or antidote to the greed, anger, delusion, and consumerism, in the West. The idea that monks and priests live renunciate lives suggests that those deeply in practice and taking these aforementioned vows can stand as an example of what a liberated, ethical life looks like, with the hope that students of these ethically grounded teachers can take refuge in their good example. In my view, there is no "crazy wisdom," nor are so-called enlightened teachers exempt from strict ethical conduct. Crazy anything is just that...crazy, harmful and chaotic.
I feel it's important to study and understand the history of Buddhism, Zen, and the Soto school to see how the practice went right, and how it went wrong over time.