Thursday, April 23, 2009


I went to a yabusame, or archery competition recently. Yabusame, originating in 1192, is done on horseback. The shogun encouraged yabusame as a necessary accomplishment for samurai.

First, the participants paraded through the grounds accompanied by other costumed people.

While riding at top speed, the archers shot their arrows at this small piece of wood, pictured below.
According to the brochure, today's yabusame is held by the Ogasawara family, which has inherited the shogunate in this area since the Kamakura Era, beginning in 1192. At least one of the archers was a woman, although I didn't get a picture of her.

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