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In « Kyudo », November 2014

Torikake and the Sound of Giriko:

In Yô no / Wagô wo shiranu / Ite wa tada
Kataomoi suru / Koi ni zo arikeru
    (Chikurin School)

“The archer who does not know the harmonious union of the Yin and Yang ※ Is involved in nothing else but an unrequited love”

Mete wa tada / Tsuru nimo Ya nimo / Semaru nayo
Mukô wo sadame / Karuku hikitore
    (Ogasawara School)

“Mete should not force the string or the arrow, Determine the direction and draw into towards yourself ※ with little power in the hands”

These verses emphasize that the left hand should be strong and the right hand should be light. The way the power is used in both hands is always revealed at Hanare. (Quote by Hisao Ishioka Hanshi Jûdan)

Last year at the Kyoto Regular Chuo Shinsa, I had the opportunity to watch from very close 12 arrows shot by the Sensei performing the Yawatashi and five candidates to the Hachidan Niji.

From Ukewatashi, the transition between Uchiokoshi and Daisan, and throughout Hikiwake, I could hear the sound continuously made by the Giriko on the Kake: “kichi kichi kichi…”

We, the examiners, were all holding our breath, full of anticipation and eager to see the result of the shooting.

When the archer has understood the harmonious union of the Yin and Yang in pushing and pulling, the sound will be made naturally. On the other hand, you will never hear such sound during the Hikiwake of an archer whose Kakebôshi is shiny and dark. His right hand will cling to the string, resulting in Metebanare and a Zanshin “paper-scissors” style.

I urge everyone to watch the exemplary shooting of the Sempai and Sensei and to use them for reference when observing others.

※Bold letters added by the author.