Progress is slow with Kyudo, however, I am noticing some improvements. I have been focusing on Tenouchi, back arch, shoulders down, expanding, pushing at the target with my thumb. The biggest change I have noticed is rare, well occasional hits are more center now, instead of just at the edge and or hitting mostly lower right. Now I hit more center. Ok , that is a good thing. I missed my Yondan by being just off the bottom edge. Now I am getting more travel to the right, and not down so much. Although I still need to work on not dropping my arm when in Hanare. The other day I was shooting and I had a hard time telling if the arrow had hit from the sound. Reason was, I had hit the same spot several times so the paper was gone. There was nothing for the Ya to break through. That was kind of Sugoi.
My knee is slowly getting better. I do not know what happened to it. I think it was shiza at the last TaiKai at Osaka Castle. The last two practice sessions I was able to do the full Tai Hai. Not great, but passable. I may need to do the standing form if this continues. I will go to my acupuncture guy on Sat. I am off that day.
The blogger of “Black Arrow” is back up and running, or perhaps shooting is a better word. This site was called Gaijihinexplorer before. He is in the Kyushu area studying Kyudo. A good writer, I have been reading his back issues. Good stuff. So now that I know of there are four blogs in English on Kyudo. “A Road less travelled” is still on hiatus ( hmm JW …) but the author is still out there in KyudoWorld. And of course everyone knows or should know Mu. Then there is this one, or maybe not. I do not focus on Kyudo only. A lot, but not only. Seems like it at times.
Meanwhile back on the home front. I have decided to con’t the Shinsa quest flow and go for June. I have two chances at passing at BanPaku. I need to make it count. Summer and Fall Shinsa sessions are there. Winter session is elsewhere. So I have two shots at Banpaku this year. Just like I have two ya in Shinsa.
Golden week in Kyoto there is a big Kyudo event. Big ranks TaiKai and shinsa for upper ranks. I thought only one of my shimpai from Kishiwada was attending. She is out for her Renshi. It turns out that there are three others testing two I believe are for Rokudan. It is interesting watching them get corrections. Some are the same I get. Their hit rate is better than me but they miss as well.
When I was in the States, most outside places, as in work, school, etc, for a very long time knew me as the Shifu, the Martial Art guy and/ or the sailor. A few Martial Art people knew me as a musician but more so the sailor. It is kind of weird hearing the “musician” attached to me now. This is what I am hearing now at the Dojo. Since my two Sempai heard me playing at the Snafkin and the now Shakuhachi classes my reputation is spreading now as the musician.
One of the Sempai who came to Snafkin said he was going to come to the club we, the Band, were playing this past Weds. It is called a live house here in Japan, just a FYI.
I was riding the train to the gig yesterday, bouncing along, zoning out, on my smart phone texting a friend in the States, who wants to move to Japan, but his wife does not want to return to Japan life. Interestingly, both are Kyudoka (Kyudojhin) . I hear my name , and I look up. There are two Japanese looking at me. Niether of which I recognized. The woman Had her face mask on so could not tell who she was. The guy was smiling at me like he knew me. I am like: ehhhhh? The woman removed her mask and it was one of my sempai from the Kyudojo and her husband. that I figured out when I recognized her. Quite a surprise, seeing someone who knows me. she asked if I was going to play at the live house, if figured a normal question since i had my Bass with me. She smiles and said , so are we, to see you!
Me : Ehhhhhhh!
Con’t part 2