Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What a Rush!

I've been doing some research over the past few months on the Korean Horn Bow for my latest WIP.
But I really wanted to get a clearer sense of how the bow worked and felt. So I dragged my family to downtown Seoul, Gwanghwamun to the Pavilion of Yellow Storks (Hwanghakjeong).

It's the most famous archery pavilion in Seoul and in this part of Korea.

There they gave us a lesson about the Korean horn bow.

Most bows can shoot an arrow between 50-100 meters, but the Korean Horn Bow can shoot as far as 145 meters.

The reason for this is its made up of 8 different materials all glued together by the croaker fish glue. No chemicals are put inside of this bow either. The outside of the bow is made up of a water buffalo horn, which creates the power within the bow.

It takes a master craftsman 1 year to make 50-100 bows, depending on their speed. This is a picture of an archer stringing his bow, which is very difficult. After the wood has been stretched, it must be put under heat.

The archer keeps his horn bow in a silk pouch called the kundae. After the archer takes the bow out, she ties the kundae around her waist where it holds five arrows.

We also got to see a demonstration of a group of people shooting their bows so far away that I could hardly see the target! And they were hitting the targets. Amazing.

I also got to try out the bow. The Master also gave my hubby and I a lesson.

You begin with, "Please forgive my archery". Then the Master says, "I wish you success".

To shoot this bow, you:
1. Use a thumb ring to draw back the string.
2. Raise the bow obligatory to the target
3. Focus your heart (this is a critical part of the culture)
4. Chest is wide open
5. Hands in line
6. Draw back the string past the shoulder
7. Aim slightly upwards
8. Allow the heart to guide the arm
9. And let go!

Wow. What a rush!


Kirsten said...

Wow, so cool! Probably the most interesting story research I've ever read about :)

Hilary Wagner said...

Okay, your life is WAY more exciting than mine! :) Sounds like so much fun!

xoxo -- Hilary

Carmella Van Vleet said...

I think that from now on I will always put a note on the end of my submissions that says "Please forgive my archery." LOL

Kimbra Kasch said...

That is so cool - you rock!

Andrea Mack said...

Fascinating stuff, Christy. No wonder your stories seem so authentic - it's the research!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Wow sounds so exciting! How wonderful to live in a different country and learn all the ins and outs of the culture.

lisa and laura said...

Um, yeah. I'm with Hilary. The most exciting thing I've done today is sneak a few bites of ice cream after lunch. This is so cool!!!

Kate said...

"Focus your heart." I like it. Very Korean!

Stina said...

It's so cool how dedicated you are to your research. You've inspired me to take Latin dance this fall for research for my new wip. Okay, I'm partly going because my 10 yo wants to learn Latin dance as well. :D

I have something for you on my blog today. :D

Julie Musil said...

That looks like so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Interesting research. I'd like to shoot a bow some day.

Also, I have a blog award for you.

Victoria Dixon said...

This is marvelous, Christina. Wow. I love the directions on how to fire.

Christina Farley said...

Stina- yeah! I'm so glad your inspired! Latin dance sounds fabulous. I do hope you'll blog about it.

Martha Flynn said...

I like that exchange! Please forgive my archery/I wish you success.

Thistle said...

Hello! Please forgive the comment on your very, very old post. I'm reading Gilded now (loving it!) and I got to the part where she whispered "please forgive my archery". I was curious as to if that were a common archery thing to do, so I googled it. Amusingly your page about it was the first result!

I have to thank you not just for writing such a good story, but doing something that authors seem to rarely succeed at: You're teaching me so much about a variety of different subjects, all in a way that's holistic and in no way interrupts the story at all. I've learned so much about Korea, a subject I previously hadn't been interested in, but now I want to learn more, more, more. :)

Christina Farley said...

Thistle- Thank you so much for your kind words! This meant so much to me because when I write my books, I do want them to be fun and exciting and fast paced, but I also love placing little nuggets of cultural details in the books too. As a former teacher, I'm always hoping that people, no matter their age, can learn new things. So thank you!!!!!