弓道/Kyudo means “the way of the bow”.
It is considered a martial art and is similar to archery.
There is a deep history and philosophy behind kyudo.
There are different types of kyudo – some aesthetic, that focus on the form and beauty. Others that are focused on efficiency and accuracy.
It’s not all about hitting the target – it’s about the meditative and self-improvement aspects of the art.
But, it’s said that if you have correct form then you will shoot accurately.
This is summed up in the phrase ‘真善美/shin-zen-bi’, which roughly means “truth, goodness and beauty“.
The Japanese bow is called 弓/yumi and is very long – around 2 meters.
There’s a lot of specialised gear and clothing involved.
There are also very specific rules on how to hold the bow, how to position yourself, how to move… down to the last detail.
It is a precise and beautiful art.
To learn more, check out Japan’s Official Kyudo Federation website here.