The earliest evidence of archery in Japanese culture dates to somewhere around year 500BC - 300 BC or what is referred to in Japanese history as the YAYOI period. The first known document describing Japanese archery is a Chinese chronicle dated around 297 AD, which describes the people of the Japanese isles usuing "a wooden bow that is short from the bottom and long from the top." This is highly and accurately descriptive of the uniquely asymmetrical bow that we use in traditional Japanese archery.
For most Western archers of today, the sole "aim" of archery (pun intended) is almost exclusively concerned with hitting the target as close as possible to the exact center or "bull's eye."
The traditional Japanese martial art of KYUDO or "the way of the bow" has always taken on more significance than the purely physical task of simply hitting the target. Traditional Japanese archery emphasizes the mental and/or spiritual component.
The way we practice KYUDO at our school in Boulder, Colorado incorporates a highly ZEN meditative component - it is a moving meditation, if you will, for the purpose of striving to perfect one's character.
"One is not polishing one’s shooting style or technique, but the mind. The dignity of shooting is the important point. This is how KYUDO differs from the common approach to archery. In KYUDO there is no hope. Hope is not the point. The point is that through long and genuine practice your natural dignity as a human being comes out. This natural dignity is already in you, but it is covered up by a lot of obstacles. When they are cleared away, your natural dignity is allowed to shine forth."
- Kanjuro Shibata Sensei XX
Above: A Kyudo student practices a carefully executed form or KATA of physcial and mental preparation before actually "shooting" at a target 28 meters (90ft) away.
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Our archery school or KYUDOJO is presently accepting new students. We have year-round open enrollment and no previous martial arts experience is necessary to participate. If you have an interest in learning this fun, empowering, and challenging meditative art, call (720) 446-0857 or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit .
Celebrating 30 Years of Tradition in Boulder, Colorado, USA