Osaka Castle i-Kai

Osaka Castle Kyudojo Tai Kai…

I had wanted to attend an opening of the year Tai Kai at Osaka Kyudojo, that however did not work out. This would be my first event there in Osaka. I had thought this was going to be a small affair. Us vs them, kind of thing. Turns out it is a them and them and them and them…vs everyone. I am guessing about 10 other Dojos in the Osaka area. 
I arrived first of my group, I found my way around to a changing area and prepared. The Kaicho from Kishiwada soon arrived, that put me at ease, I was were I should be. A Dojo-mate showed me where the groups stuff was, I joined them. As I did not understand most of what was being said I just hung out and rolled with it. I did find out I was #2 in the lineup of three. Perfect. They kept it that way throughout the day. “Sugoi” Perfect. I could relax and follow. I am sure they planned it that way. 
It was to be awhile before out turn was up. So I meandered around, checking things out, snapping a picture every so often. I had my smartphone in my top, it was handy there. I could whip it out fairly easy for those quickies. The group organized, I was on pause.
Not to long a wait and our turn was up. We had two teams of 6, I, was in the second. When the first group went up, we sat out of the floor. Took score and clapped when someone hit! Here I learned when on the floor watching you had to be chair sitting or in Seiza. I was told that very curtly by a Sensei in the States. I thought she was tripp’n , but of course I said nothing. Here I was addressed politely, by a sempai and told the proper “form” and asked if I could do seiza ok.
Finally it was my group up. We walked out together nicely and took our place. Our first group got hots but nothing to write home about. I was in the just do your best shot state of mind. No attachment. Missed with the first shot. Ht with the next two, miss the fourth. Pretty much keep that pattern throughout the day. Except for the last set I hit only one. I was up five time and hit 9 shots. My first TaiKai I hit 2 out of 3 sets. 
After each group shot, they did a rotation on going to the Mato area to turn the score hit /miss blocks, inform the hits on the mato of the current group and collect the Ya
FLunch was just after 12:00. The dojo groups gathered together for lunch. Some had group purchased Obento boxes. Other had more and less elaborate lunches. I did not bring any, so as soon as I heard it was lunch break I took off for the convenience store. It was a nice walk, spring weather not a far distance. When I returned I sat outside and watched the passerby. There was a running race going on plus other things. it was a Pleasant first day of spring.
Upon returning to the Dojo, I was asked by a couple of people. What happened to me? Did I eat lunch? Was I ok. I said I had eaten outside and was fine. I was given a small bag of snack items later by a Sempai.
For my first public TaiKai, I think I made a pretty good showing. even some of my dojo-mates said as much. Only once walking on the floor was I aware of being the only foreigner there. No one seemed to pay it the least amount of attention. Maybe I am already known…having been at two Shinsas or … no one cared.
Well this was my first outing with the Kishiwada clan. It was fun, I think I am even more now considered part of the group.
The next Tai Kai is end of April. I am planning on attending. It is sort of far, but I want to visit an old Sempai from the Dojo we are competing at. This is over in our old Hood. Suita-shi. Very nice Budo Hall. I went there to practice only a few times when we first had resettled. It was there and Banpaku. Suita Kyuodjo was closer, but the people at Banpaku where nicer, and had tea together, more homey.
ahh yeah, I digress, so I will not doing anything worth posting about as far as Kyudo for a while. I will just be practicing for June.
The band has another gig this week. I am teaching sailing a bunch, way more than I thought would be happening. So blogging about some waterworld stuff over at
My Second Shakuhachi class is coming tomorrow. So I will be posting about that shortly. I am digging it, seriously. .

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