Kyudo, Japanese Archery

The ancient art of Japanese archery, named Kyudo in the nippon language, is still practiced nowadays by young and old. There are two important elements in Kyudo. The first one, efficiency, puts emphasis on hitting the target each time. The second, aesthetics, is concerned by the appearance or meditative process that goes in every shot. In other words, one seeks to hit the target with a motion as beautiful or as elegant as possible.

In competition, contestants have to shoot four arrows. The goal is to hit the target at every shot. Shots are not judged according to how close they land relative to the center of the target as in Olympic archery. Only placing the arrow on the target is important. Placing all arrows on target results in a perfect score (4/4). Kyudo is popular as an extracurricular activity in Japanese high schools. The following photos depict a competition among high school students that took place in Nagano Prefecture.

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Gaijin San

Since my better half is Japanese I often have the chance to travel to Japan. I grew fond over time of this magnificent country. I thought of sharing with you some places worth visiting in this little but growing travel guide to Japan. I try to show with images what I can't express with words. I hope you may find here some inspiration! For those who wonder, I chose the moniker Gaijin-San after being called like this by a waitress at a grilled eel restaurant. "Gaijin" means foreigner and "San" is a honorific suffix in Japanese.

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