Kyudo, which literally means The Way of the Bow, is considered by many to be the purest of all the martial ways. In the past, the Japanese bow was used for hunting, war, court ceremonies, games, and contests of skill. Modern kyudo is practiced primarily as a method of physical, moral, and spiritual development.
In Yamanouchi-Town, Nagano prefecture, you can watch archers practicing Kyudo in sacred atmosphere or take a 3 hours full lesson, where Kazuhisa Miyasaka Sensei, 5th Dan, explains about Japanese archery tools and history. In addition, you can try shooting an indoor target. The outdoor target is for Samurai only.
Originally a samurai discipline, kyudo integrates technical skill with the development of a completely focused and disciplined mind. Influenced by Shintoism and Zen, kyudo is a path of self-development and meditation that requires the archer to cultivate precision, a clear mind, and freedom from fear. Therefore practice is essential to mastery of Kyodo where it is said that it takes a minimum of 30 years to master the grip of the bow. This demonstrates the truth of the Zen saying: “Thousands of repetitions and out of one’s true self perfection emerges.”