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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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