And a practical thing. Today I replaced the yasuridou on my bow and just wanted to make a couple of notes for future reference:
- The tou that I got from Koyama Kyugu was already shaped properly, so all I had to do was soak it for a while. One person at the dojo recommended a day. Some of the books said 30 minutes. I compromised and put it in water before going to the dojo, and then started the work when I got home again (about ten hours). I’m sure it expands as it soaks in water, so it should get quite tight tonight as it dries. I hope it doesn’t shrink so much that it breaks or comes apart. We’ll see.
- Anyway starting with the tapered (not flattened) end at the right edge of the front (target facing) side of the bow, I used a little glue to hold it in place just above, or maybe even a little under, the nigiri-kawa.
- Wrap clockwise around the bow (as seen from above), keeping the wrapping compact.
- When I got close to the flattened end, I put a little glue on the back of the tou and then continued, finally tucking the flattened end under the previous loop. Looking at it afterwards, I probably could have even tucked it through so that it protruded a little, but I didn’t do that this time. I ended up using one of those kushiyaki skewers to do the tucking.
- It’s good to have one of those alcohol-soaked wet tissues to wipe of any extra glue at the end. They work really well. Now I’ll just let it dry overnight, and then as long as I have it here, make some more tsuru.
There’s a taikai tomorrow but I missed the sign-up deadline. Instead I’ll go to the all-Hokkaido one next weekend in Sapporo. This is the first time I’ve gone to one with a time limit. Our team of three will have seven minutes to shoot four arrows each, zasha. We practised today and finished in six, but I didn’t like the way I was shooting. The rush meant no time to really feel what I was doing (so what’s the point?), and by the end I was almost laughing. It’s like watching a movie with the speed set to fast-forward. I half expected Charlie Chaplin to show up. But I better not think about that any more or I’ll start chuckling at the taikai. Bad form…