Podcast


Artisteer - Web Design Generator

Web Design Generator - Artisteer (Mac & PC) is a fun, low priced tool I used to make this and other custom WordPress based websites, including the new Savage Japan Podcast site and redesigned Savage Japan Movie Reviews site. Artisteer can also be used for general website layout, Blogger and other platforms. No programming skills required. I enjoyed using this product so much, I sought out one of their ad links to place here.

Posts Tagged ‘Kyudo Dojo’

Photo #15 – Kyudo Archer Releases Arrow at Kyoto Budo Center

Kyudo archer releases his bow at the Kyoto Budo Center

This photo corresponds with Episode 3 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 3 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


This shot of a kyudo archer’s perspective reveals how small the 36 cm wide targets appear 29 meters in the distance.

Unlike western archery where larger targets are used and higher value is placed on hitting closer to the center, in kyudo there are only 2 descriptions used to define the accuracy of a shot, hit or miss.

As it has been explained to me, even in competition there is no significance placed on hitting a target closer to its center, though I suspect Japanese kyudo archers are at least quietly satisfied with themselves when their shots land closer to the center of these very small targets.

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.

Photo #14 – Kyudo Practitioner Kneeling at Kyoto Archery Range

Kyduo archer kneeling at Kyoto Budo Center Archery Range

This photo corresponds with Episode 3 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 3 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


This kyudo student is practicing a ritualized kneeling and approach procedure before releasing her 2 arrows at the Kyoto Budo Center’s kyudo archery range.

Each archer approaches the release area on the floor with 2 arrows. The second arrow to be released is held angled down and away from the body in the right hand as the right hand also draws the first arrow back to be discharged.

Photo Details: The grass takes on an unusually vivid green appearance under the lights at this Kyoto archery range. I lowered the saturation in several of the night photos taken here so the camera’s interpretation of the color doesn’t seem too unnatural. However,  this location does possess a surreal quality at night and the colors in these photos are pretty accurate. That is, assuming you have a fairly decent monitor to view them on.

Unfortunately, laptop screens don’t count as quality monitors (even on high-end MacBooks). Laptops universally use dithered color screens of varying quality, but never “real” color screens. The inability to pay a little more and obtain a “real” screen built-in with a laptop is a big pet peeve of mine and an inconvenience when traveling. I suspect battery life may have something to do with the exclusion of quality screens from laptops, but personally, I would happily trade battery life for a quality screen.

I used up a substantial portion of my largest luggage bag’s weight limit on this trip bringing a decent LCD monitor along, just so I could do accurate color work.

Visiting the Kyoto Budo Center at night is highly recommended if you happen to be in this neighborhood after sunset, especially if you hear sounds coming from inside indicating that activities are underway.

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.

Photo #13 – Kyudo Makiwara Straw Target Practice

Kyudo makiwara straw target practice

This photo corresponds with Episode 3 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 3 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


This practice area in the Kyoto Budo Center’s kyudo training facility allows students to practice and review their form before unleashing arrows on the archery range located at the other end of the dojo. (Photo #12).

There is a large mirror in this room to the right of the student that allows him to look over and check his form while practicing with a makiwara straw target and moving through the 8 steps involved in each arrow’s release.

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.

Photo #12 – Japanese Kyudo Archery, Kyoto Budo Center

Kyudo student at the Kyoto Budo Center

This photo corresponds with Episode 3 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 3 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


My two house mates are both さんだん (san dan) 3rd degree kyudo practitioners. They invited me to visit them at their Kyudo Dojo located within the confines of the Kyoto Budo Center. (I have learned that these 2 words are blended and a kyudo dojo is called a kyudojo in Japanese.)

The centerpiece building at the Kyoto Budo Center is Butokuden, and it looks like it could be used as a set for a historical samurai drama. It was quite mysterious and pleasantly spooky arriving by myself at night as I visited the Budo Center for the first time.

Butokuden’s pairs of large wooden doors were open all around and the dramatic sounds of kendo projected out across the Budo Center grounds as you can hear in episode 3 of the Savage Japan podcast.

Loud stomping from the students reverberates on Butokuden’s wooden floors and manic cries emanate from within this building that looks at first more like a temple than a dojo. I later found out that Butokuden is the oldest standing martial arts training hall in all of Japan. I will definitely be back to photograph Butokuden (not seen in this photo).

Kendo is a bamboo sword recreational activity that many Japanese kids begin practicing in school as a form of physical education. Kendo in its present day sport form is a fairly new invention, a martial art derivative introduced into Japan’s public school system in 1952 and now practiced around the world.

Deeper into the Budo Center’s gated property, I found the kyudojo. I’ve long been intrigued by Japanese kyudo archery, so I feel very fortunate to have access to learning more about it during this visit to Japan.

I have trained for several years in full contact, combat oriented martial art styles. After being immersed in “real” and practical martial arts training for so long (after years of doing the sport stuff earlier), I don’t have much interest in non-combat, sport styles anymore, which 99.9% of all martial arts in the world today are (including Japan). However, kyudo’s calm and meditative discipline is very appealing to me.

Kyudo does have some optional elements of sport competition, but kyudo archery stands out as something completely unique and appealing in its own right. When watching kyudo, it seems to have more in common with meditation than martial arts.

There will definitely be more to come on the topic of kyudo here on this site as well as on the Savage Snow and Savage Japan Podcast.

Photo Details: This photo was one of the first I snapped inside the kyudojo at the Kyoto Budo Center, and I think it turned out to be the best of the shots from this night for presenting the main activity in this exquisite Japanese archery facility.

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.

Regional Photo Map
Photos on current page can be selected from this map.
Sign up below for the free monthly Savage Japan newsletter with additional content about Japan and "surprisingly cool" Japan product giveaways.




* = required field