So the first taikai of the year is now history. I was tied for second after the main shooting was over, but didn’t do well in the enkin and ended up with fourth place. Very nice tin of cookies, though, and oddly, some soap. Were they trying to tell me something?
The shooting felt good most of the time, but there was something about the way I was tying the kake or just my right hand position that made the release difficult, and sometimes I felt like I had to force it. Haaaaa… Also I messed up the timing. We had two groups shooting in shinsa form simultaneously, and I was o-mae of the first group. I needed to stand at the tsurune of the last person in my group, but I couldn’t distinguish her shot from the sounds of the group behind us, who were going at a much faster pace. So I froze, when instead I probably should have just stood up at a reasonable point. After all it wasn’t a real shinsa and it wouldn’t have blocked the judges’ view. At least there would have been a chance of doing it at the right time!
Afterwards a shinnenkai at the onsen. Very nice. K-sensei mentioned the importance of watching good people, and finding people whose shooting you find impressive spiritually/mentally (seishinteki ni). He wanted us to distinguish between 「いい弓」and just technical skill, and to look for people who made us think, “Wow. That’s the kind of shooting I wish I could do.” Just who that would be, whether it would be someone he personally appreciates or not, was not his concern. Lots of other stuff that I will have to think back on.
Some people went right over to shoot the next morning, but I’d had so little sleep that I went home instead. But today, back out to shoot, try to find that いい弓.