From the episode, Nine Lives of the 1970's TV series, Kung Fu:
Master Po: "The hands, grasshopper, are the eyes and tongue of touch. Through them, a man may reach out and see another's feelings or speak his own."
Caine: "Is it not sad, master, that the hands of a man may strike a blow as well as caress?"
Master Po: "Pain and pleasure are like two bells side by side, and the voice of each makes a trembling in the other.
Caine: "Are pain and pleasure then so alike?"
Master Po: "Are the eyes and the tongue alike? We see the butterfly and an ugly wound and the same tongue that screams also laughs."
O'Sensei's hands and grip were strong and conditioned.
Even one of his top disciples, Saito Sensei, was known to hit a makiwara board several times a day.
Unfortunately, many aikidoist today do not condition their hands to take some punishment. These practitioners can't punch a bag or do a knuckle push up without the risk of hurting themselves.
Aikido is supposed to be the art of love and harmony. However, to my soft grip aikidoist, there is no Yang without the Ying as Master Po said above. Condition your hands. Make it part of your daily practice.
My soft-chop practice.