I am walking to the train station on my way to Kyudo. I notice an older man walking a dog coming towards me. I take note do to the bouncy step of the dog that looks sort of old. The man notices I have a Yumi. As I pass he speaks and says Kyudo? I say yes!
He then tells me what I thought was, he does Kyudo at the Shrine Dojo nearby, and he is a GoDan. I told him, I tried to join there but the owner said no. He smiled and nodded. I said I train at Kishiwada, however I am friends now with some of the people at the Shrine Kyudojo.
He said something about his barber and a Gaijin. Later I figured out Later he was saying his barber told him there was a Gaijin in the neighbourhood. My neighbour is his barber, his wife often gives us fish and veggies from the hood. So this guy tells me he has a lot of Yumi at his house, would I like to see them? I was hesitant, but after a bit figured, OK why not. So I went with him to his house which was near by. As it turns out, not just near by, right next door to my Shakuhachi Sensei!!! I am thinking whoa, how weird is this!
It does not stop there in weirdness…
We go to the door, I wait outside as he going in to warn the wife he has brought home a guest, a Gaijin who does Kyudo, and is there to look at Yumis. It takes a couple of minutes then he says please come in…
I enter and the wife comes into the room, looks at me and she says oh Fuu – San from Kishiwada!! I think, eh!? OK now I am shocked, she knows of me!! Not really surprising though since I am the only Gaijin in the area who does Kyudo, but it was not expecting it from her. As it turns out, she is the GoDan, not the husband. Anyway, as a good Kung Fu / Taiji / Zen player I roll with it.
Amazingly light in weight…
I am shown in and taken to the Kyudo/ living room. Wow!!! There are Yumi everywhere in the corners! Lots and lots! Old ones, several old ones from Shibata XX and XIX I am shown. Antiques !
Not just Yumis, but Ya, lots and lots of old and new Bamboo Ya, in glass cases and out in the corners, I did not think of taking pix of the Yumi until afterward. But I did take photos of some of the Ya. To get and idea of how many Yumi, imagine one Yumi for every Ya in the pictures!!
There were not just Yumi and Ya, but cases, expensive handmade cases. I am amazed at the collection of things. Something is said about the grandfather of the Ikai shop owner giving them/ her things or something like that!
In addition to the Kyudo items, I am shown the Japanese garden in the rear of the house, some special wood carving, shoji screens, and an ink painting. Old Japanese style stuff I am told. I did not think of taking pictures until near the end. I think I was told to return again sometime. I will make some arrangement via my neighbour to visit again, this time with my wife L.Z. So with her, I will not miss any of what is said. It will be a good Kyudo blog post interview also, good for LZ’s new business to meet someone local who has a dog, as a contact possible client for her dog sitting business , and can pass the word.