Post date: Nov 22, 2015 5:15:38 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