The ANKF has announced that Uozumi Ichiro (Hanshi 9th Dan) of Aichi passed away on the 22nd at the age of 78.

I believe that Ichiro sensei taught at one of the South Carolina seminars so Amercian students may have had the chance to meet this great archer:

Here is a nice video of Ichiro sensei shooting.  h/t to Howard Houng and Peter Kollotzek for the links.


The 2016 EKF organizing committee has a web page.

And you can find it here:

Asia-Oceania 2016 seminar dates with attachments

The dates and attachments for the 2016 Asia-Oceania seminars (all regions) has been sent by the IKYF.  Note that the participation fee has doubled from JPY10,000 to JPY20,000 and that does not include test fees.  There are also three seminars next year instead of the A and B seminars of the past.  Each seminar is limited to a maximum of 120 participants so the IKYF must be expecting a big turn out!

(1) A seminar (mudan, shodan and nidan from Taiwan, Hong-Kong and China): From April 7 to April 9, shinsa on April 10

(2) B seminar (members from Asia-Oceania excluding those stated in (1)): From April 12 to April 14, shinsa on April 15

(3) C seminar (members from Europe and America): From April 17 to April 19, shinsa on April 20

I have uploaded the zip file containing the five attachment files to this address where they can be downloaded: 

AKR Update 2015, September edition.

From the AKR:

1) The MNKR 
the 2016 Seminar Committee

They are going to have their first meeting by using Google Hangouts. Thank you committee members and we will be informed as the seminar preparation progresses.

2) The 2015 Andrew West Memorial Award was given to Erika Alejandra Castillo Licea from Mexico.   

It was created and has been sent to <delete> sensei. He is willing to bring it to Mexico and present it on behalf of the AKR, which is appreciated. Also I appreciate that <deleted> (NCKF) helped to create this plaque.

3)  <deleted>

4)  2015 Seminar T-Shirts!! 

Thank you very much for your support. My apology for giving two deadline dates (25th and 30th) for the additional order. The Additional order was not placed due to the insufficient quantity to fill the minimum order to keep the price ($15). It is appreciated that <deleted> (NCKF) worked for this 2015 fundraising effort.

 5)  Creating an AKR annual tournament:  

This topic was unfortunately missed from the AKR Board meeting agenda. However the result of the taikai has been recorded and this record will be helpful when we need to select US team members for the 2018 IKYF Taikai in Japan.  

There is a proposal from the AKR office for a national kyudo tournament. <deleted> sensei has updated his idea to begin discussion for all of you: Since there has not been any response from my e-mail, I have drafted some quick ideas. I will come up with more ideas with my assistant.

 AKR Taikai (Competition and Recording) Plan. Drafted on 12/28/14 by <deleted>
 The committee will provide an Excel sheet for keeping records and competition rules. Events should occur twice a year such as: (Spring and Fall) or (Spring and AKR seminar Taikai).
  Rules:       8 arrows competitions.
                   No practice before competition except for makiwara.
                   Observers will record the results and archers will verify and sign. 
                   Rules will be based on AKR competition requirements  
The committee will recommend US team members for international events, based on the records from the competition
I would like to ask you to pay attention to the idea and bring up your thoughts. Please contact <deleted> sensei and share your ideas. Your participation in the project will provide you with a different type of training and this chance is very much welcomed and appreciated.

6) Creating a translation committee group 

SHAHOKUN, the first half of the Shahokun was translated by Earl Hartman sensei (NCKF) and contributed to the AKR members and the affiliated friends. The Shahokun that we see in the Kyudo manual is partial. You will find a quite profound message in the writing. Hartman sensei’s work is greatly appreciated and I hope you will enjoy reading it to help your training.

From the IKYF:

1) Nagoya Special Shogo seminar.  

The information has been distributed together with the Nagoya Chuo shinsa. Those two events have a different dead line. Please pay attention to the individual dates.

2) 2015 Overseas Special Shogo seminar in Tokyo will take place at the Chuodojo from 10/27 – 30. 

There will be four attendees from the AKR this time; <deleted>.

From the EKF:

O’Brien Sensei’s funeral took place at 4 pm on Friday the 11th September at the following crematorium. I hope he rests in peace.

1) The Condolence Flowers were sent to the O’Brien sensei’s funeral. 

His funeral was given this Card Message: Our thoughts are with you today. We will treasure our memories of Liam O'Brien sensei. From the members of the American Kyudo Renmei.The address was: Mortlake Crematorium, Kew Meadow Path, Townmead Rd. Richmond TW9 4EN

From the Affiliates:

1) The report on the joint seminar of Kyudo-Kai Chile and Kyudokai Asuncion.

It has been a while since the seminar took place. Both members of both countries may be feeling a slightly warmer air at the end of winter and I hope they are practicing regularly. I was fortunate that Okabe Koji (5th dan, Argentina) travelled to Santiago to assist me. I am very grateful for his help.


I will not report the given instruction in detail. I am very grateful to Mr. Yanai (2nd dan, Brasil) who began helping both Chile and Paraguay. I believe he did his best and so did I. In order to help them to improve their quality and skill of kyudo the Senpai countries like the US should keep providing them our experience, knowledge, skill and spirits.


In closing I would like to inform you of some future activities that Okabe san is planning. He will have a seminar in Paraguay this month and in Chile next month. He is planning a seminar inviting a higher rank instructor from Japan in May 2016. I will be in Brasil in March 2016. I will talk with <deleted> san during the Special Seminar in this month in Tokyo and request them to consider an IKYF official seminar in South America. I have heard that <deleted> sensei encouraged the Mexico group to host such a seminar and I believe it is the time for them to deserve such an official seminar.

AKR Update 2015, August edition.

From the AKR:

1) The 2015 IKYF/American Kyudo Seminar report.

<deleted> Sensei has been asked to write a brief report but he is out of the country right now. I hope he can contribute his report next month.

The 2015 Andrew West Memorial Award was given to Erika Alejandra Castillo Licea from Mexicio.

2)The 2nd Pan American Kyudo Taikai report: 
A Group winners:(up to sandan) 
  • 1st, Raul Martin Saet, (mudan) Southern California/AKR 4/8 hits
  • 2nd, Manuel Quiroga, (mudan) Chile 
  • 3rd, David Hong (2) Northern California/AKR
  • 4th, Alvin Pun (1) Canada
  • 5th, Michael David Kennedy (3) Canada 
B Group winners: (yondan & above) 
  • 1st, Tomio Kato (ren-6) Georgia/AKR 5/8 hits
  • 2nd, Mie Takahashi (ren-5) Canada 4/8 hits
  • 3rd, Fumiko Takeda (5) Virginia/AKR 4/8 hits
  • 4th, Reiko Blackwell (ren-5) South Carolina/AKR 2/8 hits
  • 5th, John Born (4) Minnesota/AKR 2/8 hits 
Thank you for all participants and volunteers. Tomio kato, Taikai organizer.

Thanks to Kato sensei and all the volunteers the 2nd Pan American Kyudo Taikai was operated in a friendly manner and the attendees looked like they enjoyed the event. It will be nicer if there is some more time that allows for performing both Yawatashi and Nohsha which are ceremonial shooting of events to announce the opening and closing of the taikai. Also I would like to ask organizers in the future to create a better scoring/tallying system that can indicate accurate results in a short time.


3)  New The 2015 AKR Regular Meeting of Board of Directors:  Please see the attached meeting minutes (by <deleted>) 

I would like to thank all the representatives, the AKR officers and all the other participants to the meeting. Special thanks to both <deleted> Sensei for organizing and preparing the meeting agenda and <deleted> to act the Chair.

4 ) New Shinsa report: (Yoshiko Buchanan) 

The technical examination went very smoothly and on time. The operation was rather simple comparing to the exams in the past because the written test had been finished separately prior to the technical exam on the 30th. The results are: shodan 100% (35/35, one absentee), nidan 100% (7/7, one absentee), sandan 53% (9/17), yondan 44% (4/9) and godan 0% ( 0/4).

The written exam was a take home test with questions that had been given in advance. The answer sheets were collected at the seminar registration and distributed to certain senior AKR members to be scored. The written test will be given in this fashion (take home test) from now on and the question list has been distributed to all the federation and affiliated countries already.

It should be posted to the AKR website also. Please share the question list with your members.

5) New Finally we may have one or two volunteers, Great!!  

<deleted> (NCKF) has been approved as the lead editor by the AKR Board at the 2015 meeting. He has contacted <deleted> sensei and begun working on the website. The AKR Board has agreed to eliminate one of the current domains, <deleted>, and to move the contents to the other domain which is “<deleted>”.

6) Creating a translation committee group/report from the 2015 seminar 
Carly sensei and her team worked hard at the seminar to provide the translation of the instruction as accurately as they can. The hardest portion was the “Kihontai” training that required a translation literally from the Kyohon into both English and Spanish. As we experienced the difficulty of translating for the entire class (100 participants of two different languages) and the time loss for the Spanish speaking participants who gathered in the same spot to receive the translation. In this way they could work a little more efficiently. In the future the committee should think ahead and come up with some efficient method of translation. There may be Portuguese added to the 2016 seminar.

From the ANKF:

1) New Fletching issue   

Mr. Harada, ANKF office manager, who accompanied the teachers for the 2015 IKYF/AKR seminar briefly, explained about the “Fletching Issue” and what points overseas students should pay attention to. Making a very complex story short, the guideline from the ANKF is that we cannot use the “Ojirowashi (White tail sea eagles) and “Ohwashi (Sea eagles)” at any ANKF events. “Feathers Certificate of Traceability” is available for those who have natural fletchings. Also, besides the above mentioned strictly protected eagles, owners should use this certificate to list the fletching that they are currently using and to carry the certificates with them when they travel.

The federation presidents, shogos and representatives attended this meeting with Mr Harada. Please ask for more detailed information about this issue from the participants of the meeting. Those who attended this meeting are requested to share the information, which will help to prevent any violations in the future.

The AKR office is planning to post the document (English) from the ANKF to the AKR website.

2) Donation from the Takahashi Kyugu to the AKR.  

As such donation money was introduced in the May edition, the AKR received <deleted> from the ANKF. The AKR Board decided to donate this contribution from Takahashi to the SCKR for their 2015 seminar operation.

3) The Kyohons and the ANKF pins were distributed to the students who ordered.  

The ANKF paid <deleted> to ship such a heavy package and to gave the AKR some discount. The discount amount which is <deleted> will be added to the AKR seminar fund. There is a good demand for kyohon among especially amount the first time seminar attendees and I hope the ANKF will help us in 2016 also.

From the IKYF:

1) 2015 Overseas Special Shogo seminar in Tokyo will take place at the Chuodojo from 10/27 – 30.   

Details have been distributed to all the federations and to the affiliated godans outside of the US. 

“This event is open to kyudo members with the rank of Godan and above. Please send one Excel sheet including applications for all of for your group members who plan to attend to  <deleted> by Sept 21 (this is one week ahead of the IKYF deadline). Please send application fees to AKR Treasurer <deleted> according to his instructions. Sincerely, <deleted>”

From the EKF:
Liam O’Brien Kyoshi 7th dan passed away

Dear Shiseikan Members,

I hate to forward this very sad news to all of you but I truly believe this sadness should be shared with all the kyudo practitioners all over the world. I am in shock and deep sorrow. I am deeply feeling the great loss at the same time. He is quite a distinguished and respected kyudo practitioner and teacher.
I pray for him from bottom of my heart. I saw him in deep grief when he host his wife. He may be happy with his wife now in the other world because he may be reunited with her. He will be dearly missed.
With my prayer and Sincerely,
Yoshiko Buchanan

Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2015 2:05 PM
Subject: Kyudo: passing away of Liam O'Brien, Kyoshi 7th Dan

Dear Presidents and National Representatives of the the ANKF, IKYF and EKF

I have been informed by the United Kingdom's Kyudo Association of the passing away of the former EKF President, UKKA chairman and senior teacher Liam O'Brien Kyoshi 7 dan. The secretary of the association, Ray Dolphin, has asked me to convey the sad news:

"It is with great sadness, that we have to inform you that the United Kingdom’s Kyudo teacher Liam O’Brien Kyoshi 7th dan passed away, on the 28/8/2015.
Although this loss will be felt most acutely by all the members of the United Kingdom Kyudo Association, O’Brien sensei’s influence was far reaching. With unparalleled Japanese dojo experience under the direct guidance of Takeuchi sensei, no one else had that depth of knowledge of Japanese culture and old school Kyudo training.
Would you please inform members of the EKF Shidoiinkai and IKYF member countries leaders of this sad news.
Kind regards,
Ray Dolphin"
As you have been informed already Liam O’Brien sensei (kyushi 7th dan) passed away on the 28th of August. I would like to announce here again this very sad news. The AKR office obtained the place where we and individuals can send our condolences. The following advice is from <deleted>/UKKA and we should follow it. “…if you address the card O'Brien Family c/o Dolphin Sensei at the address on the UKKA website, or to me c/o <deleted>, he or I will make sure it reaches the family.”

AKR Update 2015, May edition.

From the AKR:

1 )The 2015 IKYF/American Kyudo Seminar application has been closed.Thank you very much Blackwell sensei and the members of the SCKR for working on the application that is, in fact, a hard part of organizing the seminar. The seminar info still remains the same. Please visit International Kyudo Federation American Seminar (

    a) Seminar teachers have been decided.
  • Nakatsuka Shoichiro sensei (Head teacher, Tokyo) 
  • Ogura Masaki sensei (Ohita-ken)
  • Ozawa Michiharu sensei (Saitam-ken) 
They are all hanshi hachidan.
b) <deleted>

    d) For the AKR Board Meeting on the 29th:

NEW The AKR Board members are requested to send topics that you wish to discuss at the meeting to the AKR secretary <deleted> Curran sensei at <deleted>.

    e) The written test questions will be given to all the testing candidates in advance in June.
This is a take home test and all the candidates must write their answers before they leave home and turn it in at the seminar registration. The languages that are used to write answers are Japanese and English. Enough time is given to the candidates to write their answers and translate them into English. Other languages that could be used are Sapnish. (ANKF comment)

    f) ORDER NOW!! 
Do not miss this chance to obtain kyudo equipment. Please place orders as soon as you can, so that Takahasi Kyugu can ship many of the items in advance. The items he can carry is quite limited. Thank you for your understanding.

2) AKR PayPal Account 
The AKR Treasurer's Proposal for an AKR PayPal Account was also brought to Yoshiko Buchanan Sensei's attention by <deleted> who can provide more information if we need it when this topic comes up for discussion. This proposal is in discussion and will be voted on soon. It was approved unanimously. You will be notified by the AKR treasurer when the occasions occur.

3) The NCKF now has a 4th dojo, the Redwood Dojo that is led by Maria Peterson sensei.

She is building a full size dojo in the redwood forest in La Honda, CA. Her dojo has been recognized by the NCKF Board in May. It is a wonderful thing to see such kyudo development in the US. 


From the ANKF:

1) Visiting the ANKF Office: Yoshiko Sensei would like to report the following:

I was in Japan from the 15th of May until the 1st of June. It was a good thing that I visited the ANKF office and talked to the ANKF officials in person. They were kind and open to discuss matters that are related among the ANKF/IKYF/AKR. I saw <deleted> who is always helpful at the seminars as an interpreter. It is good to see at least one English/French speaking person regularly working for the ANKF office, which is quite a difference from that of the office of 20 years ago.

    a) The eligibility to test Kyoshi has been changed. 
錬 士取得後2年、且つ六段取得 後一年を経過した者(March 5th, 2015) The new eligibility is that “Those who have passed fully 2 years after obtaining “Renshi” and also fully one year after rokudan. This new rule is applied from the Fukuoka Teiki Chuo Shinsa of the fiscal year of 2015.

    b) The ANKF written test question has been officially provided. They had been sent separately to all the state federation presidents, directors and the kyudo friends of the affiliated countries on the 2nd of June.

    c) The issue of “feathers for fletching” has been solved. 
How to handle the arrows that have fletching with eagle and hawk feathers will be specified. The IKYF/ANKF is more careful about obtaining and owning the feathers that are prohibited by the Washington Treaty. We will be notified of the details when the English version of the notice is ready.

I would like to ask <deleted> sensei for explanation about this issue and receive advice at the seminar. (In fact there are several pages of documents that explain about the incident. The ANKF office seems to have difficulty to inform everything about this issue in English but I am confident that the will inform us and help us to buy and keep arrows without violating the treaty.)

    d) <deleted>

2) Congratulations to Takako sensei! 

Takako Swain sensei moved to Kumamoto-ken almost two years ago and joined the Kumamoto-ken Kyudo Renmei. She was recommended to Kyoshi by the KKR and Kyoshi-Go was granted to her. She, her teacher and students of the IKR must be very happy. The AKR expressed their congratulations on her promotion.

3) Permission for translation has been asked to the ANKF.

According to the ANKF officials they will permit us to work on the articles of the Kyudo Magazine. Due to the copyrights of each article we are not allowed to create complete translations of the articles but “Summary of articles” is allowed. How we summarize is the question but there many capable AKR bilingual members who are willing or interested in translating and contributing their work to the AKR. If that works it would be very helpful to the AKR members to deepen their study.

From the IKYF:

1) IKYF ID: 
The ID cards for those who first attend the IKYF/American seminar in July , 2015 have been issued. Those ID cards will be distributed at the seminar registration by the SCKR. The validity of this card is until the end of 2015 and the fee is $9. Please pay the fee at the seminar registration.

From the Affiliates:

1) Kyudo Kai Chile and Kyudokai Austacion – Paraguay will have a joint kyudo seminar in July (2 – 10).

Yoshiko Sensei has been invited to instruct the seminar and humbly accepted their invitation. Those two counties will send their member(s) to the 2015 IKYF/American Kyudo Seminar. As noted in the preface of this edition Yoshiko Sensei will focus on their basic conduct of shooting to perform the ANKF Shinsa Keisiki. Okabe san (godan/Argentina) will join to help the seminar.

So you want to follow in the footsteps of Master Junsei Yoshimi?

The last line of the Shaho Kun says:

"It is written, that the collision of iron and stone will release sudden sparks; and thus there is the golden body, shining white, and the half moon positioned in the west."

Okay, so you've split your first arrow with your second arrow while shooting at a candle flame at night in the azuchi and now you're ready to run out to the edge of the dojo and see Venus in the east and the half moon in the west!  

Just one problem...exactly what night should you schedule your practice to allow for this ultimate feat of shooting enlightenment?

Well thanks to the wonderful volunteers at the British Astronomical Association you can schedule all your satori practices just by visiting their web page!  Here's the link:

Is this totally cool or what!  Here is a screen shot for Sept 21, 2015 at 6 AM.  Type in that date and time and you'll see this:

This really is an awesome sky chart.  It looks strange at first because the sun is sitting at both ends of the chart but it makes sense when you realize what this sky chart is designed for.  It is designed for backyard astronomers who need to plan their night viewing and they want to know if moonlight is going to mess up their night session so they need to plan ahead to see if the moon is going to be so bright that they can't see the star or planet they want to observe.  

So planet watchers (like us) need to know if Venus is going to be so close to the sun that it can't be seen at all or perhaps it can only be seen at twilight or, even worse, Venus is on the "wrong" side of the sun and is actually an evening star for that month.  That's where this sky chart is just brilliant.  It shows the phase of the moon on the date and hour you want in relationship to all the planets.  So what you want is to find a time when Venus is far enough away from the Sun in the morning to be seen and the moon is in half phase in the western part of the sky.  All of that is quickly seen in this one chart.  Looking at the picture above you can see that the half moon is on the far right while Venus is on the far left.  That means Venus is going to be a morning star and, importantly, Venus is still on the right side of the twilight line (that second straight line on the left).  That means you'll be able to see Venus at night, not in twilight.  

Also, I cheated a little and looked at another star chart to see when Venus was going to be at it's brightest in 2015 as a morning star i.e. just before sunrise:

"Sep 1, 2015 - Venus is the brightest planet and third-brightest sky object overall, after the sun and moon. When it's visible, it's very, very prominent in our sky. This month, Venus will exhibit its greatest brilliancy as the morning “star” for approximately one week, centered on September 21, 2015." 

That's how I knew to start with the month of September.  Now you just click the various days of the month and you'll see the moon moving steadily through the sky and changing phase.  When you get the moon in half phase and as far away from Venus as you can get (which puts it in the west) then bingo, you know when to schedule that night dojo satori practice you've been looking forward too.  :)

Now the usual observing warnings apply.  You need to find the latitude and longitude for your city and put that in the application.  Armed with this knowledge then you should go to a more detailed sky chart or table that shows the night sky as it will appear at your location and get the exact time twilight ends and the moon sets and so on to make sure you schedule your practice accurately.  

But this wonderful sky chart is absolutely the starting point.

Once you have your date go here and select sky charts to see when you have to get up in the morning to see all this for your location: