Kyudo Notebook: Standardized Test Questions

For a long time, each local kyudo association (renmei) has been free to develop its own set of questions to ask in the written part of the shinsa examination. Starting this year, it seems the ANKF have decided to standardize the questions to encourage a certain level of uniformity and guidance about the knowledge they want people to have at each level. As a result, they’ve published a document, listing potential questions for each rank from mushitei to 5-dan. Questions are grouped in two categories, A and B (as you’ll see, category A focuses on fundamentals and practical considerations, while B is more theoretical, philosophical, or experiential). For the written test at local (chihou) or regional (rengou) shinsa, the directive is to choose one question from each category (so two questions total) to use as the written test for each level, so the following table is essentially a menu that will be changed every few years. Enjoy the meal, but note that the English translations are NOT official.

Level A B
無指定・初段
Mushitei/Shodan
  1. 射法八節を順に列記し、簡単に説明しなさい。
    List the shahō hassetsu in order and provide a simple explanation of each.
  2. 「基本の姿勢(4つ)と「基本の動作(8つ)」を列記しなさい。
    List the four basic postures and the eight basic movements.
  3. 「執弓の姿勢」について説明しなさい。
    Explain the bow holding posture (toriyumi no shisei).
  4. 射法八節の「足踏み」について述べなさい。
    From among the shahō hassetsu, discuss ashibumi.
  1. 弓道を始めた動機(きっかけ)について述べなさい。
    Discuss your motivation for beginning kyudō.
  2. 弓道を通じてどのようなことを学びたいと思いますか。
    What kinds of things do you hope to learn as you continue practicing kyudō?
  3. 弓道を学んで良かったと思うことを述べなさい。
    What have you learned that made you appreciate having begun kyudō?
  4. あなたは危険防止のためにどんなことに注意していますか。
    What safety points do you pay attention to in your practice?
二段
Ni-Dan
  1. 基本の姿勢(4つ)列記し、簡単に説明しなさい。List the four basic postures and give a simple explanation of them.
  2. 基本の動作(8つ)を列記し、簡単に説明しなさい。List the eight basic movements and give a simple explanation of them.
  3. 「胴作り」の重要点について述べなさい。Discuss the important points of dozukuri.
  4. 射法八節を列記し、「残心(身)」が大切なことについて述べなさい。From among the shahō hassetsu, discuss the importance of zanshin.
  5. あなたは「弓構え」でどんなことに留意していますか。What do you pay particular attention to during yugamae?
  1. 弓道を学んで感じていることを述べなさい。Discuss your impressions as you learned kyudō.
  2. あなたの弓道修練の目標について述べなさい。Discuss your goals for training in kyudō.
  3. 弓道が他のスポーツと異なる点について述べなさい。Discuss the ways in which kyudō is different from other sports.
  4. あなたが審査を受ける目的について述べなさい。Discuss your goals for participating in this shinsa.
  5. 危険防止について心掛けていることを述べなさ。Discuss the safety points that you stay aware of during practice.
三段
San-Dan
  1. 基本動作の留意点について述べなさい。Discuss the important points of the basic movements.
  2. 大三の取り方の留意点について述べなさい。Discuss the important points of daisan.
  3. 巻藁練習の効用について述べなさい。Discuss the value of makiwara practice.
  4. 「三重十文字」の重要点について述べなさい。Discuss the important points of the sanjū-jūmonji.
  5. 「失の処理の三原則」を述べ、「弦切れ」の処理方法を説明しなさい。Discuss the three principles for recovering from errors (shitsu) and explain the procedure for recovering from a broken bowstring.
  1. あなたが日々の修練で心がけていることを述べなさい。Discuss your mental preparation for daily practice.
  2. 弓道修練を実生活にどのように応用しているか述べなさい。Discuss the ways in which kyudo training applies to your everyday life.
  3. 「審査を受ける心構え」について述べなさい。Discuss your mental preparation for participating in a shinsa.
  4. 日常の修練で苦労していることを述べなさい。Discuss any points of concern or difficulties in your daily practice.
  5. 日常修練で仲間の安全の為にどんなことを心掛けていますか。What safety points do you stay aware of during your practice to ensure the safety of the group?
四段
Yon-Dan
  1. 大三の構えが射に及ぼす影響について述べなさい。Discuss how the construction of daisan influences the process of shooting.
  2. 「五重十文字」について述べなさい。Discuss the gojū-jūmonji.
  3. 「基本動作の基本(8つ)」を列記し、簡単に説明しなさい。List the “eight fundamentals of the basic movements,” and give a simple explanation of each.
  4. 「射法・射技の基本(5つ)」を列記し、簡単に説明しなさい。List the “five fundamentals of shooting principles and shooting skill,” and give a simple explanation of each.
  5. 「詰合い・伸合い」について述べなさい。Discuss tsumeai and nobiai.
  1. 射を行う心構えと態度について述べなさい。Discuss the attitude and manner of shooting.
  2. 「審査を受ける心構えと意義」について述べなさい。Discuss the attitude and manner with which you participate in a shinsa.
  3. 「礼記射義」の教えの要点について述べなさい。Discuss the important points of the Raiki-Shagi.
  4. 「射法訓」の教えの要点について述べなさい。Discuss the important points of the Shahō Kun.
  5. 後輩を指導する時に心掛けるべき危険防止について述べなさい。Discuss the safety points that one needs to be aware of when instructing newer kyudōka.
五段
Go-Dan
  1. 基本体の重要性について述べなさい。Discuss the importance of the fundamental form.
  2. 動作と呼吸(息合い)の供応について述べなさい。Discuss the harmony of movement and the breath (ikiai).
  3. 「会」における「詰合い・伸合い」について述べなさい。Discuss tsumeai and nobiai within kai.
  4. 「基本体型」について説明しなさい。Discuss the basic bodily form.
  5. 「引く矢束引かぬ矢束にただ矢束」について説明しなさい。Explain the meaning of the expression Hiku yazuka hikanu yazuka ni tada yazuka.
  6. 「射法・射技の基本」について説明しなさい。Explain the “fundamentals of the shooting principles and shooting skill.”
  7. 「五胴」について述べなさい。Discuss the five ways of constructing dōzukuri (go dō).
  1. 弓道お最高目標について述べなさい。Discuss the supreme goal of kyudō.
  2. 「平常心」について述べなさい。Discuss heijōshin.
  3. 「真、善、美」について述べなさい。Discuss shin zen bi.
  4. 弓道修練の眼目について述べなさい。Discuss the purpose of kyudō training.
  5. 「射即人生」という言葉をあなたの日常生活と関連付けて述べなさい。Discuss how the phrase sha soku jinsei applies in your everyday life.
  6. 介添えの心構えについて述べなさい。Discuss the attitude one should have when performing the role of kaizoe.
  7. 初心者の指導で危険防止について心掛けるべきことを述べなさい。Discuss the safety points that one needs to be aware of when instructing beginners.

Instead of trying to translate word-by-word I tried to write English questions that would elicit roughly the same answers that the Japanese questions might, and to use the same terms as the English translation of the Kyudo Kyohon. Answers to the factual questions can usually (but not always) be found in volume one.

These questions are intended for local/regional shinsa it is not clear if they will be used at any other type of shinsa, such as the international ones, but they do illustrate the knowledge that the ANKF want people at each level to have, and as such are quite valuable. If anyone sees errors, please let me know!

This entry was posted in kyudo, kyudo notebook, shinsa. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Kyudo Notebook: Standardized Test Questions

  1. f says:

    Thank you for posting them. I’ll be answering two of the sandan questions next week, during my shinsa, on 29th🙂

  2. karamatsu says:

    Enjoy the experience!

  3. Nadia says:

    Small typo error: Question B5 in San Dan should read “what safety points DO you stay aware of…”

  4. karamatsu says:

    Thanks for that!

  5. Asagao says:

    These standardized questions are used for the IKYF July exams held this year in Switzerland. Interesting innovation : applicants are requested to send their answers as a pdf file to an ikyf email address before June 30 !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s