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Archive for May, 2010

Quotes

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Confucius

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2010 IKYF Seminar Photos

Day 1

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine's Great Tori Gate

Sunday at Chuo Dojo

Local Taikai Participants

Burial sight of the 47 ronin... Sengakuji Temple

Sushi from the fish market

Sakura

Senso-ji / Asakusa Buddhist Temple

Day 2

Rice Paddys

Nikko

Noodle Bowl

Tokyo at Night

Day 3

Registration for B seminar

Sensei

Opening Sharei

Opening Sharei

International Kyudoka

Individual Instruction

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While the 2010 IKYF seminar has come and gone and most of us have returned home, our memories remain. Whether progressing to our next rank this year or not, I hope all left with a feeling of accomplishment. We learn from doing and it was definitely a busy time full of doing, non-stop from beginning to end.

As Satake sensei pointed out in her opening remarks, part of the reasoning for having the seminar in Japan periodically is to introduce us to the culture. While many Kyudoka have a Japanese heritage or have been exposed to the culture by other means, this has not been the case for me. It was a cultural shock from day one. My right suddenly became my left. All traffic to the left… on the road, on the sidewalk, on the escalator, lines in the train station. Tokyo is a fast paced town, move over or get run over.

Maybe due to this fast pace and crowed conditions, it is even more important to be aware of courteousness. Everywhere you go you hear onegaishimasu, the magic words if you please. We use this word in Kyudo as well, but I have never given it a lot of thought until hearing how commonplace the usage is in Japan. Kyudo is an art that stresses courtesy from beginning to end. Why would I not expect that the entire Japanese culture reflects this as well? I found that the people I met in Japan were some of the most hospitable people I have come across. Only equaled, maybe, around grandma’s dinner table where anyone that dropped by was family, where it was expected that you pull up a chair, sit a spell and you never went home empty handed… a sack of ‘maters or a mess of greens always accompanied you home.

While each Kyudo seminar we attend is much the same, each seminar is totally different from the last. We all go there and do Kyudo. We learn, we grow, we evolve. And yet… it has much to do with the people we meet along the way. The special moments seem to be the unplanned ones, the people you run into and where the path takes you from there.
Each seminar I’ve been to holds special memories. They are all learning experiences… learning about life as well as Kyudo.

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