"Tenouchi and Expiration Date" from the December 2014 Kyudo magazine, translated by Mr. Howard Houng

Good evening folks.

After a hectic schedule these past couple of weeks and getting really sick, I finally have some down time to post the new Kyudo poem from the Dec. issue of the Kyudo Magazine. 

"Tenouchi and Expiration Date"

U (or Garancho) no kubi ya kouyou kasane no tenouchi wa, shoshin no hito ni oshie e isase yo*. (Yamato)
Tenouchi like the neck of a cormorant or autumn leaves piling up, this is what you teach beginners how to shoot." 

*My apologizes in advance, I can't be certain that the pronunciations of certain kanji are correct. 

Iijima-sensei's comments:
A long time ago, not much thought was given. There was no concept of an "expiration date", phrases like the tenouchi should be like "the neck of a cormorant" or "autumn leaves piling up" weren't taught. We were told to grip the yumi and just shoot; a fairly reckless way of teaching.
It is important that teach proper tenouchi from the beginning. There is a phrase "3 year tenouchi" which does not mean that a tenouchi takes 3 years to make, but rather if you do not make a proper tenouchi within 3 years, then you will spend a lifetime of hardships. Maybe 3 years is too long, it should be more like 3 months. Before reaching the "expiry date", a (proper tenouchi) should become part of the body, an instructor should feel the anxiety and take the extra effort to look after it.
Okuden wa shoden ni ari.
The passing of secret teachings lies within the initial teachings.


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