Samurai MIKI

Yabuseme-mounted archery-/流鏑馬

This article can be read in about 4 minutes.

Have you heard of Yabusame or mounted archery?
It is a kind of archery while riding a horse.
It has been conducted as Shinto ritual since the old days.

According to the Takeda school, the origin of Yabusame was when the 29th Emperor Kinmei’s period around the middle of 6th century. 
He enshrined the 15th Emperor Oujin and his mother Empress Jingu who were known as the deities of war in the Usa shrine. 
Also, he prayed for the peaceful and tranquil country under the deities’ protection and the good grain harvest by offering the ceremony with three arrows throwing to the three targets on horseback.

During the Samurai period between the late 12th century and the late 19th century, mounted archery was practiced as samurais’ training as well as Shinto ritual.
Today, mounted archery has been conducted as Shinto ritual, while it started as new sports in 2002.

I experienced the sport “Yabusame” at CANADIAN CAMP RIDING CLUB- Kyushu.
There is a trial course for beginners.
First, we practice an archery on the ground.
Second, we ride a horse without bow and arrows to get used to it.
We need to wait for about half an hour before the staff prepare the horse with gears.
Third, we do Yabusame in a short track.

Don’t worry about it. 
Since the horses are professionals and they know what to do, we will be able to focus on shooting arrows.
How about trying Sport Yabusame as one of your once in a lifetime experiences?

【Translation for language learners of either English or Japanese】/英語・日本語学習者向け翻訳 えいご ・  にほんごがくしゅうしゃむ  ほんやく








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  1. AvatarAnonymous says:

    You’re right. This is an amazing blog post. I especially liked the video. It looks difficult.

    By the way, what happens if one of the targets wasn’t hit by the arrow during the ceremony?

  2. MikiMiki says:

    Thank you so much for your compliment!

    That’s the great question.
    Believe it or not, the archer did harakiri when the target was not hit by the arrow in the old days!
    Hence, it was said that the lords ordered them not to die.

    Here is the monument to console the spirits of people who did harakiri in the old days because they fell from a horse during the ceremony of mounted archery.
    Don’t worry about it. This practice has not been conducted anymore.