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posted Nov 22, 2015, 9:15 AM by Haitham Shammaa   [ updated Sep 25, 2016, 4:37 PM ]


     When Buchanan Sensei said I must go to the 2015 Tokyo Special International Seminar for Godan and 
above I could not easily refuse. So as the days neared I viewed the seminar with hope and anxiety. As 
anyone knows, to have a low number at a seminar is intimidating.

     As we entered Chuo Dojo (Meiji Jingu Park) happy memories of the 2010 IKYF Seminar came flowing 
back. The beauty and solemnity of this hallowed ground cannot be expressed in words.

     Day one of the seminar started slowly with a midday registration. The two Koshi were Shunin Koshi 
Hanshi Kyudan Ishikawa Takeo and Koshi Hanshi Hachidan IIjima Masao. What an honor to have two of 

the highest ranking Senseis in the world of Kyudo as your Koshi.
     After the beautiful Yawatashi by Hanshi Kyudan Ishikawa we started with Hitote-Gyosha. Then we 
went to the classroom where our shooting was projected on a big screen monitor and we were 
evaluated. It was embarrassing, but informative.

     Day two we were instructed in the proper way to dress in Kimono and Hakama. Next was instruction 
on Hadanugi/Tasukisabaki, Later we had an afternoon of Shagi Shido (shooting instruction); many, many 
times between the two Senseis. Exhausting!!

     Day three we were honored with a blessing at Meiji Jingu. We were treated to a performance of 
Kagura (Sacred Shinto Music) and Dance, then we were blessed by the head priest of Meiji Jingu 
(another astounding event). On returning to the Dojo the two Koshi performed for us Hitotsumato 
Sharei. Inspiring! Then it was time for Mochimato Sharei Monomigaeshi-Ma training and instruction. 

Grueling! Next was another opportunity for Shagi Shido. The evening was a social gathering with the two 
Koshi at the Yoyogi Club. It was a great time to talk to the Senseis.

     Day four was HItotsumato Sharei training and instruction. Midday we were greeted by Hanshi 
Hachidan Shibata Takeshi the Chairman of the ANKF, followed by the moving posthumous awarding of 
the rank of Hachidan to Liam O’Brien Sensei. Later was more Shagi Shido (I have a list as long as my arm 
of corrections to work on). Following this we had question and answer session. Penultimately was 
Hitote-Gyosha. Lastly we closed and had instruction on folding our Hakama and Kimono.

     On the last day we received our certificates of completion for the seminar. On receiving our 
certificates I thought that for three and a half days of pain and suffering we receive a piece of paper. But 
the realization came that we had a seminar like no other that I have experienced. To have two of the 
Kyudo elite as Koshi with a seminar of only 27 students in a venue that was so awe inspiring is a wonder 
that I will probably never experience again. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to attend this 
seminar to make every effort to do so.

George Nakashima