Kyudo - The Way of the Bow


Anzawa Heijiro (1887 - 1970)

The bow has always had a deep historical and cultural significance for the Japanese. Since earliest times the Japanese bow has served both the sacred and the functional. Its practical development has never diminished respect for its beauty and the simple elegance of its form. Even throughout its long history as a weapon of war the bow was still seen as a symbolic and aesthetic object.

When the bow became obsolete as a weapon the spiritual aspect of archery was developed as a discipline for peace and self-cultivation. This was achieved by uniting the vigour of the warrior tradition with the dignity of the ceremonial. As a path for personal growth and development, the concept of Reisetsu - respect for the other, became the moral discipline which united these two aspects and formed the foundation for the modern practice of Kyudo - the Way of the Bow.


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