Kyudo Notebook: Nagoya 2016 Written Test

Just a quick note that the process for the written test at Nagoya this year has changed, and people are supposed to submit their answers ahead of time as a PDF file sent by E-mail to the IKYF, with answers in Japanese, Chinese, or English. The deadline is March 30th, which probably means Japan time, so take care!

The question sheet (PDF) and the answer form (a Word file) are supposed to be distributed to participants by their country’s kyudo association, so if you don’t get them soon, it might be good to check directly. It seems a bit unrealistic to do something like this at such a late date, and with such a short deadline, but do your best and try to help each other out!!

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9 Responses to Kyudo Notebook: Nagoya 2016 Written Test

  1. Yuki says:

    There are probably many pros and cons for this. Along one line, the logistics of test day for the organizers could be greatly reduced, particularly with the increase in the numbers. For the examinies, the essays could be more thought out and well composed. Not that, in it’s own way, the exercise of thinking out the answer before putting the pencil tip on the exam sheet wasn’t useful.

  2. Zen says:

    Hmmm nice! Should make the other parts go smoother.

  3. karamatsu says:

    Yes, I imagine it’s mostly a logistical issue, considering the need to translate or have someone qualified to review answers in each language. I just worry about the timing. Ten days notice is too short, especially right now… it’s spring break season for schools, so people with kids may well be on vacation and out of touch, there could be problems getting the information distributed by the country associations, technical problems, etc. It might have been better to announce this 4-8 weeks in advance, and provide a system where people get a delivery receipt, and an alternate address for people to ask technical questions.

    But it’s a learning process! I’m sure that, whatever difficulties come up, they’ll be handled.

    • Zen says:

      Yes, it is kind of weird to drop this on people suddenly. It will be a learning curve for this, with some uncomfortablness for some period.

  4. Hello,

    I appreciate your writings on Kyudo.
    I am new at Kyudo.
    I live in Osaka half the year. There is one club who has taken me in, even though i speak no Japanese.
    I do my best. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of movement training, so I rely much on my eye to learn.
    However, there are limitations in not being able to understand what my teachers are saying.
    For four months a year I live in New Mexico and I am thinking of driving to California to study at the dojo there.
    I also teach every year in Europe in July and in October. I spend time in Germany, where I see that Kyudo is strong.
    And I teach in England every year as well.
    I also visit Zurich every year, but could go to other countries if there were particular people from which to learn.

    And this brings me to my other interest.
    I would like to begin collecting notes on a couple of subjects, possibly interviewing people.
    I am interested in human proportion. It’s difficult not to draw parallels between The Virtuvian Man and Kyudo.
    I’d like to do a detailed investigation into this. I am wondering if anyone has written or thought about this.
    I thought you’d be the person to ask.

    One reason for this interest is that I have been a teacher of the Alexander Technique for 40 years.
    You may or may not know about this work. You can read more about it at my blog –
    The philosophical and technical parallels between Kyudo and the Alexander Technique are striking.
    In fact, the first book that was recommended to me to read to better understand Alexander Technique was Zen and the Art of Archery.
    The idea of effortless effort, we-wei, harmonious action, non-doing is central to Alexander’s work.
    Also the idea of ‘non-endgaining,’ which is kin in many ways to the notion of Mu – nothingness, no desire, etc.
    (I’d love if you could tell me more about Mu and Kyudo.)
    And it goes on, so much so that Aldous Huxley, a long term student of Alexander’s, called him ‘the first western taoist.’
    So I would like to write about the overlapping worlds of Kyudo and the Alexander Technique.
    And hopefully I can weave together the theme of human proportionality, Kyudo, and the Alexander Technique.

    So my questions to you are:

    Where do you think would be best for me to supplement my training, to be able to talk to skilled teachers who speak English.
    Who might have insight into Kyudo and human proportion?
    Who might be open to knowing more about Alexander Technique?

    Let me say more about this.

    I have worked with countless people who use tools and instruments, i.e. extensions.
    Mostly musicians. I help them restore their natural alignment, find deep structural support, and to let go of any tension that is not helping them do what they are doing. I use my hands, in part, to bring about these changes.

    I notice how Kyudo teachers use their hands to help their students. I can see that many teachers have a good eye and sense as to what, in their students, needs changing, but honestly how they use their hands to make corrections is rather crude, and often ineffective. I have encountered this same shortcoming among most movement arts teachers – Aikidoists, dancers, yogis, athletes, etc. Good eye, bad hands. Consequently, I’ve worked with scores of movement arts teachers helping them develop the skills to use their hands more skillfully in relation to what they are seeing that needs correcting.

    I’d love to do this inside the Kyudo community someday.

    Lastly, I’d enjoy knowing more about you. Perhaps we could meet someday.


    Bruce Fertman

  5. forgot to check notifying me about future postings. will do this now. thanks.

  6. am having a bit of trouble posting my letter to you. perhaps it is too long. would you consider sending me your email address. mine is thanks.

  7. karamatsu says:

    I’m sorry about the long delay. I was away for work then went straight to Nagoya for the Asia-Oceania seminar, and didn’t have access to the blog page until now. The way WordPress seems to work is that the first time someone comments, it’s sort of held in limbo until it gets “approved,” so that’s why your note didn’t appear until now: the human-computer interface!
    We can certainly chat by E-mail but I thought I would reply here, first because it seems rude not to, and second because I think there may be other people better able to answer some of your questions!
    For example, at least for the moment (though I plan to change this) I have no experience with Kyudo practice outside of Japan, so others are better qualified to give recommendations in the countries/cities you mentioned. Probably the first person you should talk to is Zen, a long-time practitioner from the US who’s growing roots in Osaka. I expect he’ll also have interesting perspectives on your other themes, since he teaches sailing, martial arts, and is also a musician.
    For other countries/cities, check out the web site of the International Kyudo Federation. Contact information for member nations is here. There are other groups that either aren’t members of the IKYF, either because they’re still so young (but growing), or because they follow a different tradition. In NM it seems like there might be a group affiliated with Zenko International, but the web site of the Santa Fe group seems to be down, so I’m not sure if it’s active. Also I don’t know what the differences are between the tradition followed by Zenko International and that of the ANKF/IKYF. Like most people in Japan, I practice at an ANKF dojo, so that’s the only one I’m familiar with.
    Of course you are quite right that the body plays a crucial role in Kyudo, and that each person needs to express the form of kyudo in terms of their own body, particularly the alignment of the bones, as you can see in the first line of the Shaho-kun, one of the texts that prefaces the current edition of the Kyudo Kyohon. I’ve heard of the Alexander Technique but honestly don’t have any experience with it or other formal ways of training in movement. Maybe someone else will have some contacts/references? There is a book, Kyudo Dokuhon, by Karasawa-sensei, that I’m told goes into great detail about the body in Kyudo, but I’ve only read snippets so far.
    If you are in Osaka now, you might consider going to the taikai and shinsa that will be held in Kyoto over Golden Week. Many top people will be there so you may be able to make some good contacts, especially if you speak Japanese.
    So that’s a start! Sorry again about the delay!

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