Kyudo Notebook: Yugaeri and Nigirikawa

Just a quick note. I’ve been having trouble with yugaeri since changing my tenouchi. Today my teacher helped me work on that, trying various things with various degrees of success. After lunch I decided I need to take a breather from that so I brought out my other bow, which I hadn’t really used since changing the nigirikawa (the leather grip). Then on the first shot… wham! Fully turn. And same deal with every other arrow.

What seems to make the difference is just that on my regular bow the nigirikawa has become so smooth that the bow may be rotating in my hand from daisan to kai. That reduces the torque on the bow that would normally lead to yugaeri. Since the other bow still has a relatively rough surface on the grip, that doesn’t happen, and the torque is enough to spin the bow fully.

So the bottom line: don’t let the grip get too smooth or it starts to affect things. Some of my friends chance theirs about once a month (not really on a calendar basis but just when it feels right to do so), and one teacher changes hers before any taikai or shinsa. I, on the other hand… have sometimes used the same grip for months and months, until holes get worn through the leather. Although certainly economical, I guess that wasn’t such a good idea…

So, lesson learned.

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6 Responses to Kyudo Notebook: Yugaeri and Nigirikawa

  1. f says:

    One really good way to recondition a grip is to use a pet brush on it(we have a metallic wire one, with little plastic balls on each bristle tip.it becomes as good as new…

  2. karamatsu says:

    Great idea! Thanks! What I’m going to do tomorrow is change the nigirikawa on my regular bow (or get a pet brush) and see if that solves my yugaeri difficulty. If so, then I’ll be assured that it was the problem. Just knowing will be worth something, and now that I think about it, there is a pet store a few blocks from the dojo.

  3. f says:

    I forgot to say, the brushing only works if you are using inside out, suede-like nigirikawa (could be ibushi or non smoked deer skin, or the artificial suede-ecsaine). If you are using the slick leather on the outside(common on tennis rackets and golf clubs) waxing or beaver fat (available at ABC Mart shoe retailers) could also help.

  4. John says:

    Hi. I’m new to, well not Kudo but kyujutsu but the bow is the same. I can’t find any information anywhere on how to change the nigirikawa. Can anyone give me a synopsis. Thanks.

  5. karamatsu says:

    Hmmm… The ideal thing would be video. If you go to Youtube and search for 握り皮 several will come up. I can’t watch video on this computer so I don’t know if they’ll be what you need, but have a look! And if you have questions feel free to ask. On the one hand it’s easy, but on the other, getting things just right can take some time. We were talking about it once with a hanshi while he was rebuilding his own grip, and he said he normally takes about half a day to get it just the way he likes it. No rush!

    • John says:

      That’s great karamatsu, thank you. One final question, what type of glue are they using. It looks like PVA.? Thanks so much for your help.

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