Well, I spoke too soon. My enthusiasm about getting back to practice was derailed by heavy cold/flu symptoms, my souvenir from the trip to Tokyo. I should just avoid that place during the cold and flu season. But it meant not going to the tutorial this past weekend, which was unfortunate.
On the positive side, the takeyumi have arrived. They’re beautiful, and surprisingly light compared to my fiberglass/carbon bow, but they come with a lot of warnings and points of special attention: five pages of densely worded instruction and two pages with photographs of the proper way to string the bow and correct for various problems that may arise in its shape. Later on I’ll post some of that because it’s interesting and seems to go against the common wisdom I read in a lot of places.
For one thing, the yumishi recommends using synthetic strings during the early training period because if a string breaks during this time, while it is still “immature,” the shock will have a severe effect, causing it to revert it to its raw (arayumi) condition. Or worse. It’s not yet clear to me what he thinks about using a hemp tsuru until it breaks once the bow has stabilized. Often you read that the breaking of the string is actually good for a bow, allowing it to stretch out and rejuvenate itself, but now I’m not so sure. Anyway it’s a bit like the start of a new relationship. Lots to learn. Many tentative steps, seeing how the person/bow responds. But at least the bow comes with instructions!