Another Kyudo day, but this as a watcher not as a doer. It was a good day for travel and set off for Kyoto. It was the Golden week Kyudo Tai Kai and Shinsa time again. I went last year and it was pretty interesting. This year I had first planned on going to the Tai Kai and watching the Hanshi dan compete, and or going to watch my dojo mates compete. However that plan was changed in order to see the Shinsa for Nana Dan and Hanshidans also author of “Mu” and his crew were coming down from Hokkaido to watch and test. He had been beyond helpful to me when I first came to Japan with no equipment, by lending me a Yumi and some Ya. Anyway it was chance to meet him in person, so I arranged my plans to go on the same day .
After getting lost going to the venue I arrived later than I planned but it was ok. When I first came in I was spotted by a Sempai from my dojo and motioned to sit with him. It was a surprise to see him. We watched for a while then everyone took a lunch break. Him and I went down stairs to the venders area. I ended up buying a couple of small things. One of the venders was from the Shibata the bow maker. The grandson of my first Kyudo style and teacher of my bowmaker was there working. We chatted a bit and he invited me over to the shop when I was in the area. I could met his father and see the shop where they make the Yumi. I was told it was nearby and easy to get to. One day I will go by there…one day.
After a while I went back up stairs to the main area and things had started up. I watch, took pictures spoke with a couple people I knew. One of which was a sensei from the States, we were both surprised to see each other. One thing I found surprising was how badly some of the people shot. Perhaps their form was good , but they were off the target, some by a lot. A couple of people bounced their Ya off the floor a couple of times before getting to the mato. Many hit below the mato. A couple even hit the hanging cloth over the matos. I could see how off they were at their release, it was funky. I was also surprised at how many had the shakes, like that disease or something that they would get the shakes when holding the Ya. Some kind of muscle issue thing.
So I watched and learned, what it was like at the advanced Shinsa. I also got to see some do standing Risha and a couple in standing form in the three person Sharei, which the Kyoshi had to do as part of their testing. Now I know it can be done standing in a formal situation. It was a fairly long day, but I am glad I went, it was a good learning experience, not just a fun thing. I feel more motivated now. I do not feel so dishearten about my shooting at mt Yondan Shinsa at all now, after seeing many many of the advance level people miss and miss and miss. Of Course there were some good shooters, nut there were quite a number of bad ones, as far as hitting goes.
I treated myself to a small dinner at a local izakaya afterward. The name seemed fitting for the occasion and the menu looked good. I came across it on the way home after stopping at a couple of temples for a little sightseeing on my way back to the train station.
One of which I found something interesting in keeping with the spirit of the day.
It was a long day but worthwhile…
I got home sort of late. I had a TV shooting call for the morning, so I should have gotten back sooner…Oh well.