American Kyudo Renmei
Meishin Kyudojo
Asahi America

Kyudo Technique

Kyudo has developed along two historical lines: bushakei, the shooting style of the foot soldier and kishakei, the style of the mounted archer. Kishakei is commonly known today as reishakei, or ceremonial style. In addition, there are two methods of readying the bow: shamen no kamae (oblique stance) which is most often associated with Heki Ryu, and shomen no kamae (frontal stance) commonly used by Ogasawara Ryu and Honda Ryu. All of these methods are accepted standards of the All Nippon Kyudo Renmei.

The illustrations and notes below depict the reishakei style with shomen no kamae. For a much more detailed explanation of the hassetsu you may want to read our book: KYUDO : The Essence and Practice of Japanese Archery.
(See the Resources section of this homepage for more information.)


The following text and illustrations explain the Hassetsu, the eight fundamental stages of shooting. The Hassetsu are presented as separate actions only for the purpose of study. In truth, they are part of one continuous sequence of movements that are performed with seamless integration. There are, of course, numerous transitional techniques and sequences that cannot be illustrated here.
Also, the Hassetsu series shown here does not include Taihai, the ceremonial or procedural aspects of Kyudo.

To the left is a simple animation of the Hassetsu.
The individual stages of the Hassetsu are illustrated and described below.

Note: If there are problems running this animation on your browser it can be restarted by clicking on the back arrow of your browser followed by the forward arrow. You may also download it to your computer by dragging it to your desktop or by right-clicking on it and selecting "save as" on the menu.

Click on the buttons below to view text and illustrations of the individual Hassetsu
If your browser cannot view the Hassetsu above, click here to access an alternate page.
This site is maintained by Dan and Jackie DeProspero, co-authors with their teacher, Hideharu Onuma Hanshi, of the books
Kyudo: The Essence and Practice of Japanese Archery and Illuminated Spirit: Conversations with a Kyudo Master—Revised April 2, 2012
Copyright © 1998 Dan and Jackie DeProspero