10:27 PM

Kyudo! (But Yokohama, this time)

It took a couple weeks to get set up, but since I got to Yokohama, I've been able to start up kyudo again at the Kanagawa Kenritsu Budokan (a budokan means "martial arts hall," in this case for kyudo, kendo, and judo). The left is a picture, of part of the budokan at least--cause it's a huge, sprawling complex. It's right next to Kishine Park (which explains the greenery), a straight shot on the subway, about 30 mins door-to-door. It's an absolutely beautiful dojo, and I'm really lucky to be able to practice there.

Here's another picture, of the entranceway to the budokan. You can't really see, but there's a little zen rock garden just to the right of the path. And, that's actually a kyudo person coming out of the doors--you can see, he's carrying a bow. The kyudojo is just through the entranceway and off to the left, sort of the part that you can see in the first picture. I've officially become a member of the 若葉会, Wakabakai (literally "young leaves club"), which is one of the groups that uses the budokan for practice. The schedule changes month to month, but I usually get to practice 2~3 times a week, which is pretty good. I can use one of the club's bows, but because most of the members have their own equipment (this is Japan, after all), it became necessary for me to buy my own arrows, and a few other things.
Matsuzawa-sensei (who has been *incredibly* nice to me ever since I first came) took me to a kyudo shop in Tokyo, Asahi Archery, to buy my stuff. Amazingly enough, Asahi is owned by the Onuma family--i.e. the family that my sensei from NC lived and studied under for about 10 years when he was in Japan. They were all very excited to hear that I was one of Dan's; in addition, several of the people there had gone to NC for the opening of Dan's dojo (probably about 7 years ago, now). They were incredibly nice, showing me lots of pictures, and I also got a fair amount of free stuff, partially because I'd been Dan's student, and partially because I was "cute." ;-) (Not gonna argue with that!)
Afterwards, Matsuzawa-sensei took me around the area a little bit, which she said was like the "Obaa-chan's Shinjuku." ;-p We browsed through some shops, visited a local temple, then stopped and had some tea and mochi.
At any rate, it was one of the most fun days I've had in a long time.

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Kelly McLaughlin said...

Small world, eh? I've never fired a bow (any bow), let alone a really cool one. Maybe we should have some kind of Light event where people get to do some hands on stuff? (musical instruments, cooking, archery, etc.)