Just a quick note of something I learned at a tutorial the other day. Although normally in sharei, if you break a string there is no fixing it — you move back to the honza and wait while everyone else finishes (which isn’t always trivial because you have to be out of everyone’s way)– this not necessarily true in the sharei in the second part of a shinsa for renshi, kyoushi, or (I guess) 8-dan. In that case it’s possible to correct the error and continue.
What I was told was that, for the renshi test, it’s OK to just have another string, and someone will restring the bow for you, but beyond that you’re expected to have a second bow (kaeyumi) already strung and ready to go. The teachers recommended that people testing for renshi do the same if possible.
So, just a note for future reference.
Otherwise things are going fairly well. One thing that has helped is making sure that the arrow is parallel to the shoulder line at daisan. Apparently I’d had it at an angle, which creates an imbalance during the draw. I got some other tips at the tutorial, but am trying to change only one thing at a time…