Japanese Archery (Kyudo/Kyuu-dou :弓道)

Hi, we hope you are doing OK during this time of uncertainty. We want to talk to you about Japanese archery today. I (Naoki) had learned Japanese Archery for 5 years from ages 16 - 20 years old in Japan.

Naoki - at Suzuka in Japan (in 1989)

Japanese Archery (Kyudo) is one of the traditional Japanese martial arts. In Japanese Archery, if you can’t concentrate and stabilize your mind, it will be difficult to hit the target even if you had many years of experiences. Of course, miracles and beginner’s luck does exist. However, it needs the correct training to hit the target with your arrow. This requires proper strength training to pull the bow, proper posture, and mental stability training. Bowing is a courtesy manner that is also basic for Japanese martial arts. It is very important to repeat for training. My Japanese Archery Section: Ogasawara ryu (小笠原流)

Japanese Archery Japanese Archery involves drawing a bow and shooting an arrow from a distance of 18 meters into a target with a diameter of 36 cm. It will determine if the arrow hits or not. There is no such thing as a high score for hitting the center of the target like a competition. However, as we are aiming towards shooting the arrow, it is better to have it hit the center. When we can hit the center, we learn how to control the heart and release it with the correct form by the way I position the arrow. The bow is made by bamboo, glass fiber or carbon fiber. The arrow is made by bamboo, aluminum alloy or Titan alloy with feather. Each player has 4 arrows and can shoot 3 times. That is a total of 12 arrows in the competition for Japanese archery. Players are competing against each other on how many arrows can hit the target. How to shooting the arrow There is technique on how to shoot the arrow by bow.

It is 8 motions for shooting the arrow by bow(射法八節) 1.Basic stance (基本体:Kihon tai)

- It is basic standing.

2.Making and keeping stable your body (胴作り: Dou tukuri)

- It is to make the body balance

3.Preparing arrow (弓構え:Yugamae)

- It is to set an arrow on your right hand.

4.Preparing launch (打起こし:Uchiokoshi)

- It is the motion for drawing the bow by starting to breath slowly.

5.Spread bow (引分け:Hikiwake)

- It is spreading (arching) the bow.

6.Stoping move & controlling your mind (会:Kai)

- It is to stop breathing and release breath and to stop motion for spreading bow

and aim target. You need concentrate and do mental controlling,

7.Stroke the arrow (離れ:Hanare)

- It is to release your arrow.

8.Checking arrow direction & reminding (残身:Zan sin)

- It is to check your result and your body balance and reflect on your shooting. If your mind is disturbed or you are not in the correct form, you will not be able to hit the target by your arrow because you are imbalanced both physically and mentally. The purpose of Kyudo is self-discipline and to stabilize the mind. It doesn’t mean to hit the target only. It needs consistent mental (meditation and concentration) and technical trainings. ===================================================== Thank you very much for reading and taking your precious time with us. See you again on our next blog. ====================================================== Ozu's Organic Matcha Pastry L.L.C.

Naoki and Michiko Ozu