Dating back to the 11th century, Japanese Kyudo – or archery, literally meaning “way of the bow” – has been used as an art of purification in ceremonies within the Imperial Court of Japan and within Zen Buddhism. Practitioners of this ceremonial and contemplative form focus on attaining “the perfect shot.” In order to accomplish the perfect shot, one must have immediate action without any intervening thoughts; this entails proper form, physique, patience, and dedication.
Reverend Hirokazu Kosaka can trace Kyudo in his family’s lineage back multiple generations, and often responds “300 years” when asked how long he has studied the art. His father begain teaching Kosaka when he was 10 years old, just as his grandfather taught Kosaka’s father, as was done in previous generations. Kosaka says, “My art, and therefore my life, is the result of centuries of ‘spiritual mutation,’ the manifestation of my experience with Kyudo.”
In 2009, Hirokazu participated in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program with apprentice Ferris Smith. The apprenticeship deepened Ferris’ training in form, patience, and the historical pursuit and endless search for the perfect shot.