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In « Kyudo », October 2014

The Angle of Torikake –
About the Right Use of Kyudo Equipment

Hikikakete / Sono kakeguchi no / Rikimi naku
Ugokanu wo koso / kake to iunare
    (Yamato School)

“Positioning the Kakeguchi on the string without excessive tension ※, And holding it still, this is what is called ‘Kake’ (to grip).”

This verse warns us not to put excessive tension (in the fingers) or move the Kakeguchi that we have positioned in Torikake. (Quote by Hisao Ishioka Hanshi Jûdan)

One of the Gojû-Jûmonji is formed in Kai by “the thumb of the glove (Yugake) and the string”. If the Bôshi of the Yugake is placed at a right angle to the string, it will point up as the bow is opened in Hikiwake. Furthermore, if too much force is used, the string will make a second groove on the glove and you may hear a ‘click’ sound at Hikiwake when the string resumes its right position in the original Tsurumichi (groove). If this happens, it is because your Mete is gripping the string too strongly.

Those people who drop the arrow at the beginning of Ukewatashi, as they move from Uchiokoshi to Daisan, should also be more careful of the way they do Torikake.

At Torikake, it is “the forearm of the right hand and the string that should be on an angle of 90 degrees”, not the thumb and the string.

Now, if the Hanare is difficult to achieve, the hand may be in a position called Hirazuke (the back of the hand facing to the front) with the Bôshi pointing in the direction of the Mato, in a position where it cannot open. The thumb inside the Bôshi may be pointing at the Mato, but the Bôshi itself should not.

One of the five conditions for Seisha Seichû (“correct shooting results in correct hitting”) is “the correct preparation and use of the equipment”. You should pay attention how you use your Kake.

The saying that “there is no Master among people doing Hirazuke” is worth remembering.

※Bold letters added by the author.