Kishiwada – a day of festival and Kyudo

Mornings are cool,
evenings are chilly,
Autumn’s breath
flows this way.
It has been a while since I took the bike the 1.5 hr ride to Kyudo, due to the summer heat. Yesterday with the weather no changing I went for it. I took my time and went slow. Even though I ride everyday almost somewhere it is the distance here that is the factor. Actually the ride there is easier than the ride back.

As it turns out it took way longer than I planned. I stopped to check on having T-shirts made for the band. Then checked on a place to have the family “mon” embroidered on my Kimono. I had the address of the place and directions, but was not quite sure since the sign was in Kanji and LZ who wrote the name, here kanji is at times hard to read. I asked a random person on the street once I was, I thought near the place. This guy and woman pointed to the building just down the street. I guess they could tell I was not sure which one they said, because the guy runs along side my bike to show me just what building it is, then comes back after a few minutes to check on me when he sees me hesitant about crossing the street. I was just checking out the place as it looked closed and looking for a street crossing. Even after over a year here I am still surprised at some people’s kindness.
Further on up the road I encounter the start of the mass of people going to the Kishiwada festival. it is a BiG yearly event and being held this weekend. The crowds got bad at one place a needed to go through to get to the Dojo. I unmounted my bike and planned on walking through this throng of people. Another Obachan going the other way also did the same, we waited for a break to pass through. Once in close she smiled and started a conversation. I always find that surprising.

So after much side stepping and side route adjustments due to the parade path, I make it to the Dojo. I am expecting the usual group however there are some new people there and they are being filmed. It turns out there is a NHK film team doing a film for Youtube on an upcoming TaiKai. There are three Osaka champions competing, or maybe two and this one sensei. Something like that. It seemed the Sensei was the main focus. Of course i did not understand the whole thing, just pieced together a story from the bits that I was told.
I did also find out, was told there is a monthly DaiKai held each month at the monthly Dojo meeting. I was asked if I was attending this one upcoming. My San dan certificate will be handed out at this meeting, however I will be working that day. not a problem I was told. I have already seen it, I just have not been given it as yet.
As far as my shooting. I am improving but there is still so much I need to adjust. Especially dropping my shoulders and opening up more in Kai and Hikiwaki. I feel like I am open but I keep being told I am closing when I shoot. I will need to working on a method to combat that closing action. I am back to correcting my form and not so concerned about hitting. I can hit when I just shoot. I will start attending these monthly competitions for the stress/ pressure practice. Spring is coming.
On the trip home I thought the festival stuff would be over. I was wrong and again encountered the crowds. This time around I took in some of the atmosphere. There were a lot of booths, and people even foreigners which I am not used to seeing or hearing. 


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