Our usual location is Outdoors, at:
(For directions, call / email Vivi (h) 301-588-8396)
Weather: If the weather is bad, we cancel the
Vivi Spicer (h) 301-588-8396
What is Kyudo?
Kyudo is a form of meditation using traditional Japanese archery. It is sometimes known as "Zen Archery," but here "zen" doesn't mean the "Meditation (Zen) School" of Buddhism, but rather simply "meditation." So at Miyako Kyudojo, we simply call it "stand-up meditation." For more information about Kyudo in general, browse the local Washington, DC Kyudo page. Our teacher is Kanjuro Shibata, Sensei. This site has lots of pictures, a list of other locations for Kyudo, and cool info.
Would it be possible to come observe a practice?
Sure -- you won't be disturbing anything, and it's best to observe before you start, anyway. We practice two Sundays every month 12:00 - 2:00. (Actually, 12am is when we rendezvous to set up the class. We'll stop practice at 2pm, and then take down the targets, etc., and maybe leave around 2:30.)
What would I need to start?
Just your presence. The dojo has class equipment. You can learn the technique
in three or four successive Sundays, at the regular practice, or at a weekend
program (see "What about weekends" below).
Since we practice outdoors, what you wear should be practical for the weather. In the blazing summer, bring sunscreen, hat, and lots of water. If the "Feels Like" temperature is 95 or greater, we will cancel. -- Once you make yourself known to Vivi, she will usually send out an email cancelling practice the day before, if the weather looks bad.
In the winter, wear layers. We don't have an indoor location for bad weather, but if it's dry and it's not too cold, we'll be out there for sure. We've found a neat trick on the NOAA weather site : Use the "Hourly Weather Graph". Specifically, look at windchill being greater than 42 degrees and low probability of precipitation. We might go a little under 42 if there's not much cloudcover. And again, once you make yourself known to Vivi, she will usually send out an email cancelling practice the day before, if the weather looks bad.
Where Are Practices Held?
We practice at Vivi's house twice a month. For obvious reasons, we don't
post her address on the internet, but all you need to do is to call
or email Vivi (h)
How much does Kyudo cost?
Class Fees: The instruction leading to your first shot takes three or four Sundays, and costs $75. After that it's a membership issue - $10 per class, up to a maximum of $160 per year, which is the annual membership. A membership year is January thru December, and the $160 can be prorated. Ask about family rates, if that applies.
Equipment: We don't recommend buying a yumi (bow) for at least a year. It'll take that long for your form to stabilize enough so that you will neither break nor outgrow your new yumi. (They cost $500 and up.) We have a variety of class yumis for you to use until you're ready. While you shouldn't buy a yumi too soon, there's another piece of equipment that can be bought as soon as you feel comfortable with the cost. It's the "kake," the glove used for pulling the tsuru (bow string). We have a variety of class kake, but only one of each size. New kake cost around $300. Regarding arrows ("ya") -- because we have a lot of class ya, you probably won't want to buy any of these for a while, either, but they're cheaper. A practice ya is a little sturdier than the regular arrows, and has no feathers. It is probably the first ya people buy, for about $25. A pair of feathered ya start at about $60.
Clothing / uniforms: Not required. That said, the outfit is kinda cool, and people seem to eventually want to buy one. Even the rankest beginner can wear one. It probably costs a couple hundred dollars.
And then there are all the tchochkes: tshirts, calligraphies, etc. etc.
To summarize, most people don't bring equipment to practice for as
long as they can stand sharing their favorite class equipment with others.
Class fees are $75 to start, then after taking your first shot, it's $10
per class up to a maximum of $160/year membership.
Other websites to look at:
The Zenko Kyudojo site -- This is a dojo with the name Zenko, in Boulder, Colorado. It has lots of pictures, and cool info.
North American practice locations
There's also the Oko Europe
site for Zenko Kyudo in Europe -- also with lots of pictures, locations,
Weekend Programs are listed on the Miyako Kyudojo website, at