Yesterday we had a mini-taikai. Unfortunately I had dropped off four of my six kinteki arrows to have some damaged flights replaced, and they hadn’t arrived back yet, so I ended up using enteki arrows. “How much difference could it make?” I figured.
Quite a lot, it turns out, so much so that I’m curious to understand why. They’re thinner and lighter, yes, but I should have been able to compensate for that by changing the aim. Yet not a single one of them was kind enough to hit the target, so in a way I am torn… hope that my trusty old kinteki arrows will be waiting for me tomorrow, or try to figure this out?
In any case, now I know. There is an exquisite balance that should not be fooled with unnecessarily. I was talking to the teachers about tsurune, and one thing they pointed out was that the best tsurune is really a matter of having everything just right. The bow, the string, the arrow… all these must be “right,” not just among themselves but for the individual person. It’s a dependent arising, it seems, and it depends on all of those things. I guess my enteki arrows aren’t “right” any more…
Meanwhile I found a site for a kakeshi who makes and sells “soft” gloves, without the pre-formed tsurumakura. I’ve seen some discussion here and there about the advantages of such a kake versus the normal hard type, but I wasn’t sure where to find one. Now I know, though being able to afford one is another matter, since it seems they are all custom-made. If I understood correctly, the kakeshi is himself a hanshi. That sounds expensive.