Bow has been used from the Paleolithic era to shoot preys. Until Edo era, Bow has been used as weapon and it was called “Kyujutu”, but after Edo era, it became called “Kyudo” because its goal is training of the mind and body. And now, People enjoy playing Kyudo in the world.
What is Kyudo?
Kyudo is the Japanse traditional sports. There are a lot of way to enjoy playing.
The first way I explain is “Kinteki(近的).” The distance between player and target is 28 meters, and the size of target is 36 centimeters. This way is the most popular for Kyudo players. Perhaps some people think the game is point that the arrow which is near to the center of the target gets high points. But in fact, the players usually compete through hitting ratio, and if the contest between the players continues undecided, the ranking is decided through the position of the arrow.
Second is “Enteki(遠的).” The distance is from 55 meters and 90 meters, and the size of the target is 1.58 meters. Enteki has usually two ways: points system and same as Kinteki.
Third is “Yabusame(流鏑馬).” It is to shoot arrows from galloping a hose at shrine.
What tools do player use?
Kyudo player use bow, arrow, and glove which is called “Yugake(弽).”
The length of the bow is about 221 centimeters, so it is the biggest bow in the world. The power of bow is from 7 kg to 23 kg. There are many kinds of bows. The type can be roughly classified into three kinds: bamboo, glass fiber, and carbon. Each bow has its own characteristics, and its price is from high to low.
We need the arrow. The arrow which player uses in the game has wing such as eagle, hawk, and turkey.
We can play without Yugake, but it is needed because if we don’t use it, we feel painful. The Yugake is made of deer’s leather, so it is expensive and durable.
Players also wear Kyudo uniform or Kimono. Some students begin Kyudo because they long to wear it.
How do they carry their tools?
When Kyudo player use public transportation to go to meet or to practice, they have to carry their bows, but it is very big. How do they carry?
The bow become straight when bowstring is removed, so it is relatively easy to carry. But the bow’s length cannot become short, so they have to be careful do not hit the bow to the ceiling.
Differences between “students Kyudo” and “general Kyudo”
“Students Kyudo” means Students play Kyudo as a club activity in their schools, and “general Kyudo” means all generation play Kyudo as hobby in the public facilities.
There are differences between students Kyudo and general Kyudo.
In students Kyudo, many club students say “Yoshi!” when the player’s arrow hit the target. Some university students also say “Atari!” when the judgement notifies hitting arrow. Students say “Yoshi!” and “Atari!” to cheer for the player.
On the other hand, in general Kyudo, the people do not say “Yoshi!” or “Atari!” like students Kyudo. They only clap their hands. Their game is very quiet.
What is the charm of Kyudo?
Kyudo is the sport that face up to ourselves. Our mind is showed in our body and result.
I think the sense of the stretches is one of the charms. Our back become straight when we play and we have to continue it, so the posture improves.
We can enjoy playing Kyudo if we are old because we can adjust the power of bow and do not have to move our bodies hard.
If you took an interest in Kyudo, please watch some movie or read comic books, and let’s begin Kyudo.
Thank you for reading!
I recommend these two YouTube to you.