Kyudo Japanese Archery

Discover Kyudo, the martial art with a heart of Zen.


Experience Outline

The bow and arrow exist in every civilization around the world, but only in Japan has it been elevated to a spiritual training path known as “Kyudo.” In fact, Kyudo is often referred to as “Standing Zen.” Traditionally, it was the first of the martial arts that Japanese samurai learned in their training.


Experience Details

The essence of Kyudo is, “goodness and beauty are as important as technique.” It is about trying to remove your conscious concentration and waiting for the moment of natural release. In other words, self-control and emotional stability are of the utmost importance. In reality, it takes long years of practice to master the use of the bow, but in this short Experience you can tap into the essence of detachment and the truth and goodness and beauty of this practice. With practical instruction, live shooting, and a demonstration from the Master, this Experience is an in-depth, hands-on introduction to the “Standing Zen” of archery.

After gathering at Komagihara Archery Hall, participants will change into the uniform for practice. There will be a lesson in which you can learn the basics of Kyudo, including the postures, gestures, and formal manners. After some instructions on technique and mental and physical approach, you will participate in a live shooting session. After your lesson and shooting session, the Experience culminates with a ceremonial performance by the Renshi (6th Level), Master Akino. Any Master at work is an impressive spectacle, and after your own practice, you will surely feel the weight of the moment when the body and heart are beautifully matched, and the bow is released.

A message from Mr. Shinoazki, the master of the Zen at Zenpoji Experience: “I have been practicing archery for 18 years. I became a Zen monk because, as fate would have it, my Kyudo teacher also practiced Zazen meditation. With the mantra “if you practice Kyudo, practice Zazen,” I went on to attend the Zen temple and proceed along the path of Buddhism. At first glance, Kyudo and Zazen look very different, but in fact they are deeply connected, so I encourage you to experience both worlds.”

Duration

3.5 hours, available morning or afternoon.

Includes

Tuition and demonstration with the Kyudo Master, interpretation and language support, and the rental of a kyudo practice uniform and tabi shoes.

Schedule

This indoor experience can be held all year round.

Local Advice

You will be provided with rental uniforms, so we will ask you for height, shoe size, etc. in advance of your Experience. If you are coming in the winter months (November – March) the gymnasium can be quite cold, so be sure to bring thermal layers you can wear under the practice uniform.

Minimum Participants

2

Guides

Yoshihiro Akino

Language

English

Cancellations

The cancellation policy can be found here.

Health and Safety

Meeting Spot

Getting Here

Take a bus from the Tsuruoka S-Mall bus station.

Meeting Spot

Komagihara Park

Finishing Spot

Komagihara Park

Prices

Make an inquiry.

Other Megurun Experiences

Yamabushido Programs 

Trek with Yamabushi: Winter in Haguro 

Self-Mastery: An Introduction 

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Yabase, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan

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Megurun aims to support sustainable rural communities. To achieve these aims, we gained a travel agency license registered with the governor of Yamagata Prefecture: Region 282.