Dear Friends of the International Kyudo Community,
Autumn greetings from the American Kyudo Renmei. As incoming President of the AKR, I am following the path of my predecessors, and will strive to continue the nurturing of kyudo in the Americas. I am greatly assisted in this endeavor by the other incoming officers of the AKR, Carly Born sensei (AKR Vice President, President of the Minnesota Kyudo Renmei), Jeremy Cail (AKR Secretary, member of the Southern California Kyudo Renmei), and David Barootian (AKR Treasurer, member of the Southern California Kyudo Renmei).
A ll of us in the incoming AKR Office are deeply indebted to the leadership and legacy of the outgoing officers, Yoshiko Buchanan sensei who is stepping down after 6 years as AKR President, Tomio Kato sensei, former AKR Vice President, Jannette Curran, former AKR Secretary, and Andrew Platzer, former AKR Treasurer. Our sincere gratitude to all of you for your years of service.
Kyudo in the Americas is vibrant and strong, with two Renmei (USA and Canada) and affiliated kyudo groups in several countries of the Americas. Three affiliate countries are formally mentored by the AKR, including kyudo groups in Mexico, mentored by Aaron Blackwell sensei, Brazil, mentored by Yoshiko Buchanan sensei, and Argentina, mentored by Tomio Kato sensei. Kyudo is also growing in several other Pan American countries, including Chile, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The AKR maintains contact with kyudo groups in all of these countries, and we welcome participation from all at the IKYF American Kyudo Seminars.
In July 2016, the IKYF American Kyudo Seminar was held in Northfield, Minnesota, hosted graciously by the Minnesota Kyudo Renmei. We were fortunate to receive excellent instruction from Hayashi Fumio hanshi, Kubota Kiyoshi hanshi, and Ogura Masaki hanshi. Students attended from several countries of the Americas, as well as Austria and France. For the first time at an American seminar, a special Enteki practice was held, on a gorgeous and sunny day in the verdant fields overlooking the wind turbine of Carleton College. The comradery formed at the Enteki practice set the stage for a most enjoyable 3-day seminar, followed by a day of testing. The seminar days are short and evenings are few, but we also found time for the AKR Taikai and a group banquet for socializing with kyudo friends from near and far.
Sincere regards to all of you.
Maria Peterson, AKR President
Photos courtesy of Daniel Kim