Tag Archives: Kyudo

Visiting Nijinohara Special Education School and trying out kyudo

Activities with the kids at Nijinohara
Activities with the kids at Nijinohara

The first stop today day was a Special Education School in Oomura called Nijinohara. We stayed there the whole morning and after lunch we went to a dojo to learn about kyudo, which is basically Japanese archery and a form of Japanese martial art.

This was my second time visiting Nijinohara with World Campus Japan, and I have some great memories from last time so I was very much looking forward to being able to go there again. At the school we were welcomed by several curious faces and some enthusiastic “Hello!”:s. After introducing ourselves and dancing a bit for the children, it was time to split up to different classes and do some team activities together. First, we had a little chat and question session to get familiar with each other. Then we engaged in a chair racing competition followed by an English word game. There were many students that were very excited and wanted to interact, and there were some who were a bit more shy or reserved, but one thing that was very clear was that everyone wanted to be a part of the activities.

Some of the children didn’t at all use their voice to communicate, so when it was time for self-presentations the teachers helped them with reading the presentation. Others needed help from teachers or their friends to stand up, sit down and move around. It made me so happy to see everyone working together to make sure to include all of the students in the activities. I had a great time and the students seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.

In the afternoon, having arrived at the dojo we got to listen to a lecture about kyudo and see a demonstration performed by the teachers. Then we got to change into kyudo clothes and try the technique ourselves. First, we went through the basic steps using a practice bow consisting of a handle with a string attached to it. After that we got to practice with real bows and eventually line up to shoot with the teachers’ help. Keeping the arrow in place was a bit tricky and drawing the bow required a certain amount of strength, but I enjoyed the challenge and I think we all had a lot of fun.

Sofia Larborn (Sweden)

The Kyudo Experience

zuvan shooting kyudo in omura

Today was a day well spent. I’ve done archery before, but never like this. I’ve never been more determined to hit a tree or a balloon than today. The feeling of accomplishment when I finally did was spectacular. I’ll explain why:

Kyudo has a rich history behind it and the Japanese people have made sure that it has stayed that way. The idea that every bow has a soul was also beautiful. Watching the dojo master’s demonstration was breathtaking to say the least. Then having a chance to do it myself was a whole different feeling. It didn’t matter if I won a prize or not, I just wanted to stay there and shoot as many arrows as my weak muscles would allow me to.

When one of the archers spoke about why they chose Kyudo, everything that they said I completely agreed with. That feeling of wanting to do better each time, the urge to continue even when you fail, not allowing failure to stop you but rather push you to do better tomorrow. Getting the chance to step in their shoes and really take on Kyudo was truly a luxury.

It’s hard to decide on part that was the most fun because everything about today was amazing. Those of us in World Campus Japan are truly lucky, having the chance that no other program gets to have. It’s an experience I will never forget. Maybe I’ll even continue with it.

Aimee Morales (USA)