Kyudo as a Competitive Sport
There are two types of competitions in kyudo, the close target and the far target. The target is 28 meters (approx. 92 feet) away in the first type and has a diameter of 36 centimeters (approx. 14 inches); archers kneel as they place the arrow on the bow and stand up to shoot. In the second type, the distance is 60 meters (approx. 197 feet), archers stay standing and shoot at a target measuring either 1 meter (approx. 3.3 feet), 79 centimeters (approx. 31 inches) or 50 centimeters (approx. 20 inches) across. Both individual and team matches are held for each target type, and the winner is usually determined by the number of hits.
Kyudo emphasizes the balance between tranquility and action, so it's important that the archer shifts smoothly from tranquility to action as they prepare to shoot. An ancient set of principles divides the shooting of an arrow into eight parts, explaining such points as the state of mind an archer should strive for.
Tools and Equipment
The equipment used in kyudo includes a 2.21-meter (approx. 7.2 feet) bow, arrows, bowstrings and a glove fixed to the handle of the bow called a yugake. The bow combines wood and bamboo, while the arrow is mostly made of bamboo.
There is also a kyudo uniform made up of a white tsutsusode top paired with black or navy blue hakama pants and white tabi socks. In formal settings, traditional Japanese clothes are also sometimes worn.