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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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