The practice of Kyudo requires a specific equipment.
The Bow, the arrows, the glove, the clothes as well as a lot of small objects for maintenance are also part of the world of the bow.
All these objects are made by Master craftsmen, and are often works of art of great beauty.
Students attempt craftsmanship too. It is not unusual to see a Kyudoka who has laquered his bow, reworked the rattan on the limb, made his own Yasutzu (his quiver) or made his own kimono.
This requires high standards which come naturally, since the Archers love their practice.
The bow - yumi
The Japanese bow is unique. Its great length (from 2 to 2,15 m)and its asymetrical shape (the handgrip is placed at the lower third of the bow) make it an object of great beauty.
The Yumi comes from an age-old tradition transmitted by bow makers, and is made from a complex laminate of bamboo and different types of wood.
To choose one's bow is not easy. It requires a great deal of experience.
Usually, the teacher will choose for the student.
The relationship with one's bow, its care and nurture is a lengthy process that must not be neglected.
Gradually, it is advisable to acquire several bows.
The arrow, made from a special kind of bamboo "SHINODAKE" by master craftsmen is also an object of great beauty.
The beauty of the feathers, the shaft and the nock can make it the most precious part of the equipment.
Originating from Mongolia, the glove has become a unique Japanese feature.
It is also made by master craftsmen.
As we progress in our practice, it becomes necessary to improve the quality of the glove.
A simple wooden circle on which a sheet of paper is stretched, the target is planted into a sand bank , 28 meters away from the archers.
The black eye is traced with Indian ink at the beginning of each session.
For us in France, acquiring the equipment is not easy.
Obtaining the equipment "flows" from a direct and straightforward relationship between Master and student , as well as with the Master craftsmen.
Without them, we could not shoot, and without us, they might not be able to make their beautiful works.
Students must learn how to know and identify high quality tools by being demanding, the quality remains high.
In our Dojo, all personal bows and arrows are made of bamboo .