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Photo #51 – Kyudo Archery Score Keeping

Kyudo Archery Score Keeper at Kyoto Budo Center

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


For contests and rank progression examinations, such as the examination in progress on this particular day, the kyudo scorekeeper sits in a small booth beside the archery targets and records the accuracy of each participant’s shot.

The scorekeeper places an X or O in the scoreboard from its backside, so the judges and spectators can see each archer’s score. With kyudo’s small targets, accuracy for competitions and testing is typically recorded only as hit or miss, and in testing, accuracy is only half of what the kyudo practicioner is judged on.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

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Photo #50 – Diminutive, yet Strong Kyudo Archer

Kyoto Budo Center Kyudo Test in Progress

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


This will be the final archer photo in this sequence.
I definitely couldn’t leave out this petite archer’s strong and steadfast pose.

If form counts for a significant portion of a kyudo test score (which it does), I think this girl should achieve her rank progression from this stance alone. :-)

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #49 – Longbows, Japanese Kyudo Archery

Archery students during kyudo archery examination in Kyoto.

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


Though similar in content to the previous photo, I wanted to include this picture because I liked being able to see the entire archer from her feet to the very top of the bow.

The incredible length of the kyudo longbows, with the upper portion of the bow being much longer than the lower portion, makes it sometimes impractical to include the full length of the archer and their bow in photographs.

Also, in this photo you can see how the male archer has removed one sleeve of his uniform. When wearing one of the longer and looser sleeved versions of the kyudo uniform, the men remove the sleeve covering the bow arm before they shoot.

The crossed straps seen on the back of the female archer here are to hold a mune-ate chest guard in place that is used by women to protect from the bowstring.

Incidentally, where the judges are sitting in this photo is where I was sitting while recording episode 3 of the podcast in the portion of the episode heard after I entered this kyudojo at the Kyoto Budo Center during a night practice session.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #48 – Kyudo Archery, All Ages

All ages particpate in a kyudo archery examination in Kyoto, japan.

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


A wide range of ages was participating in the kyudo archery examination held at the Kyoto Budo Center on this day.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #47 – Nintendo DS & Sony PSP Kyudo Preparation Rituals

Kyudo students pass the time with Nintendo DS and Sony PSP handheld game systems while waiting for their turn in a Kyoto kyudo archery examination.

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


These kids were completely absorbed in their Nintendo DS and Sony PSP games as they waited for their turn in a kyudo archery examination being held at the Kyoto Budo Center.

This is purely anecdotal, but in my limited observations it seems that Nintendo rules the handheld gaming market in Japan as I think they do in the US. This is one of the few instances where I’ve actually seen a PSP outside of a store in Japan. The Nintendo DS in its various incarnations is everywhere though.

To see what some of the other kids were doing to pass the time and to see a colorful selection of their interesting bow and arrow cases, check out the previous photo.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #46 – Japanese Manga, Video Games, and Kyudo

Japanese kids waiting for their kyudo archery exam to begin read manga and play portable video games.

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


Japanese kids in Kyoto
sit amongst their colorful bow and arrow cases as they wait for their turn at a kyudo archery examination at the Kyoto Budo Center.

At first I thought the girls on the left might be quite studious, possibly reading significant pieces of literature on their downtime here in the east corridor outside the Kyoto Budo Center’s kyudo archery facility. I then noticed they were reading thick Japanese black and white comic books (manga). Still, they are probably expanding their minds more than the kids in the distant background who are playing video games. :-)

I find the archery equipment cases quite interesting, mostly because they are items that if seen back in the US I would not have known what they were for. But here in Japan, I’m sure kyudo bow and arrow cases are quite common accessories and perhaps seen fairly often in day to day life.

I suspect most kyudo students leave their equipment at their regular training facility most of the time as my house mates do, so maybe it’s not super common to see these cases being toted around every day in Japan.

Kyudo archery is offered in Japanese schools, so most families have probably had at least one member of the family who participated or a neighbor that did.

Photo Detail: I didn’t realize it at the time I snapped the picture, but the wall on the right side of this photo (with barbed wire at the top) separates the Kyoto Budo Center grounds from the Heian Jingu Shrine’s western perimeter.

As you can see in the map below, Heian Jingu is just around the corner from the Kyoto Budo Center. The entrance to the Budo Center is on the street to the left of the marker that shows where I was standing when this photo was taken.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #45 – Green & Purple Kyudo Archery Range in Kyoto

Kyudo Archery Range in Kyoto, Japan

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


Only 5 targets
are set up on the range for this examination day. The kyudo practitioners participating in the examination are batched and reviewed in groups of 5 for their individual attempts at rank progression.

The purple curtain decoration with the Kyoto City emblems was added to the target house because of this being a special occasion.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #44 – Kyudo Archer, Face of Determination

Female kyudo archer takes aiim with determined expression

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


Challenging light and zoomed in far more than would be desired with a handheld shot, I still wanted to share this archer’s image from the Kyoto Budo Center Kyudojo.

I like her focus and determined expression.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #43 – Kyudo Archery Targets at Kyoto Budo Center

Kyudo Archery Targets and Arrows at the Kyoto Budo Center Japanese Archery Range

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


The vivid purple curtain hanging down from above was not in place during the regular nighttime practice session I attended a few days earlier at the Kyoto Budo Center’s Kyudojo. It adds a nice dash of color to be sure.

I promise this photo journal is not going to become an all kyudo, all the time website. :-) I just happened to get a heavy dose of kyudo upon my arrival here in Japan.
I hope you enjoy the photos.

Episode 5 of the podcast is not about Japanese kyudo archery.
Unfortunately, it’s about racism.
Not a topic I chose, but one that was thrust upon me when I was refused admittance to an interesting event at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center, the same day this photo was taken
(And yes, I got it on audio.)

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #42 – Five Archers During Kyudo Examination in Kyoto

Five Kyudo Archers at the Kyoto Budo Center

Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly after this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.


5 kudo archers
lined up during an examination at the Kyoto Budo Center.

I’ve already posted several nighttime images shot during the recording of episode 3 of the podcast, but I couldn’t resist also sharing these photos taken a few days later during a kyudo examination held on a bright sunny day on the east side of Kyoto at the Kyoto Budo Center.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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