Skip to comments.Warrior Tribute to Onyumishi Kanjuro Shibata XX
Posted on 10/24/2013 4:57:02 PM PDT by Candor7
The Shambhala Times offers this Warrior Tribute to the great Kyudo Master Onyumishi Kanjuro Shibata XX who passed away peacefully on October 21st at the age of 92 in Boulder. His wife Carolyn was with him at their home. Please take this opportunity to post your remembrances and tributes as comments below the article.
Below, Shibata Kanjuro XX, circa 1935
Born in Kyoto, Japan in 1921, Shibata began his Kyudo training at the age of eight. At a young age he also began training in bowmaking with his grandfather, Kanjuro Shibata XIX, in the family workshop. In 1959, upon the death of Kanjuro XIX, he officially became Kanjuro Shibata XX and assumed the duties of Imperial Bowmaker to the Emperor of Japan.
Below , Shibata Sensei demonstrating Manner Shooting
Perhaps you are thinking that neutrality is some sort of spiritual goal. This is not the case. Looking deeply at our hearts is the aim of spiritual practice. Kyudo practice is not neutral. Kyudo practice is about balance. Balance is not the same as neutrality. Neutrality only seeks the middle. In kyudo practice we are equally aware of the left, the right, the middle, all of it. How long have you been practicing? Once more again, practice. This is my hope.
~ Kanjuro Shibata Sensei
Below, Shibata XX Sensei joins heaven and earth, 2008
Shibata Sensei was the master of Taiyusha Kyudojo practice hall in Kyoto (founded in 1883) until its closure in 1991. In addition to making bows for warriors and nobility, the Shibatas also made hama-yumi (sacred bows) used in Shinto and Buddhist rituals. They were also heads of Kyoto Bowmakers Guild for many generations. During the Meiji Restoration, the Shibata lineage was appointed the Bowmaker to the Emperor of Japan, whose most important duty is producing the Goshimpo-yumi which are enshrined at the Grand Imperial Shrine at Ise and replaced every twenty years.
In Japan, Shibata Sensei became concerned that his students were too fixated on merely hitting the target, and were treating kyudo as a sport rather than a meditative art. He felt they were becoming too competitive. Shibata thus represents a view of kyudo different from the All Japanese Kyudo Federation (ZNKR) and Japanese Budo Association. Rather than as a meditative art, ZNKR promotes kyudo as a traditional budo art combining equally both physical and mental development. These differences led Shibata Sensei to exclude his tradition from the official Japanese budo associations.
In 1980 Shibata Sensei came to the United States to teach kyudo to the Shambhala community, at the invitation of Vidyadhara the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Together they founded Ryuko Kyudojo (Dragon-Tiger Kyudo Practice Hall) in Boulder, where he established permanent residence in 1985. The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, studied for many years with Shibata Sensei and became president of Ryuko Kyudojo.
One is not polishing ones shooting style or technique, but the mind. The dignity of shooting is the important point. This is how Kyudo differs from the common approach to archery. In Kyudo there is no hope. Hope is not the point. The point is that through long and genuine practice your natural dignity as a human being comes out. This natural dignity is already in you, but it is covered up by a lot of obstacles. When they are cleared away, your natural dignity is allowed to shine forth. ~ Kanjuro Shibata
Shibata Sensei traveled and taught extensively, and founded Zenko International, with over 25 Kyudo practice groups in the United States, Canada and Europe. Sensei officially retired from his duties as Imperial Bowmaker in 1994 in favor of his son, but with the support of his wife Carolyn, was active in teaching until his death. He performed purification ceremonies at the Sakyongs Enthronement and Wedding. The Amaterasu-mikami shrine at Shambhala Mountain Center was constructed at his request and under his guidance.
Shibata Sensei was an exemplar of warriorship, writes Shambhala Mountain Center Director Michael Gaynor. In the last year of his life, he visited Shambhala Mountain Center on a number of occasions in response to a request from the staff to teach warriorship and revitalize the practice of Kyudo at the mountain center. Despite his obvious frailty and need for oxygen at the higher elevation, he came and shared his profound teachings with us. He also invited the staff to his dojo in Boulder, to take first shot with him. This was a warrior for whom there was never a moment of holding back.
He transplanted the Heki Ryu Biu Shyu Chikurin Ha lineage of kyu no michi in the West as it now wanes in Japan.
My precious teacher has passed from this world.There likely will never be another like him, he very likely was the last of his kind.
I practice Kung Pow Chik-An
To attempt a comment in words would be an act most “Un-shibumi.”
I will, therefore only offer a modest musical tribute in which one might find some sense of balance.
Domo Arigato Gozahimashita. That music fell directly onto my raw kokoro, like salt on a wound , its purifying sting is pleasurable as the rain falls on my face.
Not nearly as manly as dressing up your own warrior
They would probably be bemused to see their lives fictionalized and turned into romantic dramas that bear almost no resemblance to the real thing
My apology if I do this badly. I do not claim fluency, much less poetic ability:
Mai anaa izu tuu noo himu suruu yuu .
Okay, why not Dragon Ships? or Sea Monster Ships? why Turtle??
Cannons all around, arrow firing poets all around, 2 foot spikes on the top... possibly poisonous fumes belching from the mouth of the dragon head....
To this day General/Admiral Lee Soon-shin is a national hero of Korea.
Must have been a formidable ship in its day.
There is some weird stuff on the internet
They worked for a while but technology advances rather quickly sometimes
It is my honor to know you here and he would be very pleased
to meet you, of that I am very sure.
Thank you so much. It is most difficult to have lost my blood father in May, and now my spiritual father is gone.
But we will slog on here. I appreciate you so much and hope all is well with you and yours.
I have a feeling I will be seeing them both again.
With great respect, I share your loss and feel your pain. Please accept my condolences on your great loss.
Tashi delek, my FRiend.
May you always remember every precious moment you shared with Master Onyumishi Kanjuro Shibata XX.
Sarva da mangalam!
You were blessed being his student... my prayers for both of you at this time.
Deeply sorry for your loss, Candor7.
Thank you Mesta. I am praying for you everyday. The forces of impermenance in this world cut so deeply.
Lama Chenno, Lamma Chenno,
Rinchen Tsawai, Lama Chenno!
Thank you for your kindness my dear FRiend.
Thank you so much for your kind words.
Do not ever think that basic unconditional goodness of the human heart will cease to exist, for the torch of certainty will never be extinguished by death, impermanence, or samsara.
And so this torch will continue to blaze in our own back yards.
This is what it means to be the student of such a man for 30 years:
( Photo taken at Shibata Meadows Shambhala Retreat Center last August. I established this practice place of refuge 2 years ago, dedicated to solitary retreats, we will eventually have 7 retreat cabins and a full traditional kyudo venue with Matoba Azuchi and an Iru Basho Hall )
A drala celebration. Thats next.
Rarely can one photograph wanthang.
In the kyudo world it is called "shahin" or shooting dignity.
The ceremony is in Red Feather Lakes today? That is so close yet so far away. The flooding in Sept. has made it even further. I’m afraid I couldn’t get there in two hours even if highway 34 were still usable but I will hold a thought for your venerable teacher. Are you there today?
I was not there today, I am in New Brunswick and we held our own kyudo ceremony to coincide in time with that happening in Red Feather Lakes.You are so close, you should visit Shambhala Mountain sometime to see the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya there ( its a walk in and has 3 floors).
I have been wanting to see the stupa for a long time but it is difficult for me to leave home for very long. That is wonderful that you were able to have a simultaneous ceremony there in New Brunswick.
This link connects to a video of Shibata XX Sensei’s Cremation Ceremony, the song that you here is Sensei singing about a flock of geese, “Gun”...one or two may fly away from the V - arrowhead shaped flock in the sky and another one or two will join it in its arrow shaped course across the sky.
Thank you. That was beautiful!
A glimpse into Shambhala :-).
Thank you for your kindness.