In the early 1990s, Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi, a close friend and confidant of Kanjuro Shibata XX, gifted this series of three calligraphies to The Vienna Kyudo Group (Gako Kyudojo). Kobun Chino, who knew Shibata Sensei from Kyoto and studied Kyudo with him, was instrumental in inviting Shibata to the US and Europe. Kobun himself taught Kyudo on behalf of Shibata XX. Kobun enjoyed high recognition as a calligraphy teacher. Warm thanks to Michael Rich for the translation of the three calligraphies.
By shooting with one’s own power, the rainwater of cultivation without a way is like losing the grain. (An archer who shoots according to his own style without receiving the teachings of a master is like the rainwater which flows without a channel, ruining the crops.)
By penetrating the inner teachings, the old horse in the midst of the snow of art seems to know the way. (The art which pursues the inner depths of the teaching to the limit never loses its way on the path. “The old horse knows the way” means that a well trained horse will always return home even if let loose in the middle of the mountains. The phrase “the old horse knows the way” comes from the unauthorized biography of Han Zi, which tells the story of when Duke Qi Heng got lost during an attack against Hu Zhu. Departing in the spring, he returned in the winter and got lost, whereupon Guan Zhong said “release an old horse” and they found their way.)
By practicing the method of shooting, the dewy flower of virtue has blessings like increasing color. (As for the method and ethics of shooting, the virtuous brilliance of attaining the correct path as taught by the master is as beautiful as the moisture laden flora growing in vitality.)