/ Reflections of the Winning Team
Team competition - First JAPAN
(In the front row from left to right):
Yoshida Nozomu; Iiyama Yûsuke; Omori Akito.
First of all, I would like to thank all the people who supported me. We owe our world championship to your encouragement and support.
It was a great experience to shoot overseas, in a totally different atmosphere from that of Japan and under huge pressure. It showed me how inexperienced I was and I can now see more clearly in which direction I should train. I have immediately started work on new aspects of my shooting and I am training hard for the National Sports Festival of Japan.
I passed the selections in Tôkai Prefecture in December last year. In the selections held in the Chûô-dôjô in March of this year, my challenge was to make a kaichû so that I would have no regrets - whether I was selected or not. At that time, the World Taikai seemed very far away although now, when I look back on it, the four months seemed to have passed so quickly. I really enjoyed the special training sessions and other events every month with my comrades who had won in the other regional championships. This really was a high level of training.
I still remember saying before the competition of Paris started: “So this is the last time we will be able to shoot all four together. I wish it could have lasted longer”.
I feel very grateful for having had this chance to meet so many people through Kyudo and for the rare experience I enjoyed. Above all, my comrades, together with whom I trained and competed, will always be my lifelong friends. From now on, I will continue to face myself in Kyudo and train hard so that I can improve my technique, of course, but also so that I can grow as a human being.
Team competition - JAPAN
I would like to say first that if we managed to beat France, who were aiming to win the title for a second time, it is thanks to all the people who supported us day after day.
Now, when I look back to my score and to my state of mind during the first round of the final, instead of thinking “I’ll hit, I’ll win”, I was hesitant, afraid of missing. But during the semi-final and final, I followed the advice that Okazaki Hanshi had given me after the first round, when he said “You’re afraid of missing. You won’t win like this. Don’t be afraid of missing. Just attack the mato”. I concentrated on expanding along the yasuji in the direction of the mato, and kept attacking. As a result, the hanare felt good, the tsurune was clear and sharp, the arrow had a good speed and I was able to make kaichû .
I realized how important it is not to be on the defensive but to keep attacking and expanding on the yasuji.
It was the first time I have taken part in the World Kyudo Taikai or that I have practiced Kyudo overseas. Since Kyudo is originally Japanese, I had expected that it would not be very popular abroad but in Paris I was able to see for myself that it was much more popular than I had thought and that people had good determination and a high level of shooting.
To conclude, I would like to thank all the members of the Japanese delegation with whom I have been training and who have helped us to win this Taikai: Mr. Yoshida, Mr. Ômori, Mr. Yamaguchi, and to the sensei of the ANKF who took great care of us.
Team competition - JAPAN
I am very glad to have taken part, as a member of Japanese team, in the Second World Kyudo Taikai held in Paris on July 19th and 20th.
From the selection of the Japanese delegation on March 1st until the main event in July, I took part in several training camps. Now, when I look back, it seems as if the time has passed very quickly. I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Sensei of the different leagues, the ANKF’s administrators and all the Kyudo friends for their huge support during the preparation and right up to the Taikai itself.
In the competition hall, I could hear the encouragement, not only from Japanese competitors, but also from non-Japanese people, and I felt an atmosphere that perhaps is only possible in a World Taikai.
From a personal point of view, this experience has taught me a lot. Especially while shooting in the first round of the final, which was a very close contest, I had the feeling that I was calm but, now I have time to think about it, I feel that I still had some hesitation and anxiety somewhere in my mind. But still, thanks to the encouragement of everyone and to my team-mates, we managed to win.
This was the first time I have practiced overseas and when I was talking with other Kyudoka from different countries and watching their shooting, I felt particularly impressed by their commitment and their enthusiasm in practicing Kyudo.
I would like to thank everyone again for supporting me in this Taikai and to say that it has made me more determined than ever to train my hardest so that I will not be overtaken by all the other Kyudoka who are training very seriously all around the world.