Review: 弓道 Perfect Master

Cover Photo

弓道 Perfect Master

This book takes the second approach. The book is comprehensive and the DVD illustrates. The teacher behind the scenes is Muraki Tsuneo (村木恒夫), kyoshi 7-dan, but you rarely see him, and the person in front of the camera is Koyama Kyoko (小山京子), 5-dan.

I like this book quite a bit. It is a bit more aimed at adults, and goes beyond the basics. Even without reading the text, annotations on the photographs and on the DVD images will direct your attention to the points of interest. The general organization is similar to the others:

  • Motivation
  • Fundamental postures and movements
  • Correct form (including the hassetsu)
  • Technique
  • Common problems and solutions
  • Hints for improvement
  • Rulebook for competitions and examinations

Again, the value of the DVD is to see these procedures in motion, and this book really takes advantage of that by focusing attention on the way the different stages of shooting should flow together. One of the first things I noticed when watching some of the masters, besides their total control, was the way the hassetsu come together as one smooth, unified physical and spiritual process that culminates in zanshin, rather than looking like a series discrete steps, one after another. Seeing the forms in motion is a big help toward realizing that.

The one missed opportunity, I think, in having Koyama-san as the model, is that, although she is in kimono with the sleeves tied back, they don’t show the actual method for tying the tasuki, something that would have been useful since even beginners may wear kimono on formal occasions.

This book also has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive, ¥1,500 plus tax, and as usual, is available overseas through Amazon.

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