Yabusame - Japanese Mounted Archery

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Yabusame - Japanese Mounted Archery

Yabusame is a Japanese martial arts focused on archery while mounted on horseback. This martial arts was developed in order to prepare and train samurai in order to use of the Yumi (the traditional Japanese bow) on horseback in combat.

Yabusame archers must hit three wooden targets within 20 seconds while racing on horseback across a narrow 300 yard track. In feudal Japan, the practice of Yabusame was not restricted to wooden targets. Large circular pens would be constructed where mounted Samurai would gallop around while shooting arrows at live dogs. The arrows were sometimes the turnip/bulb headed variety but often live arrows would be used instead (either way it was not very likely that the dogs would survive). Along with Yabusame, mounted hunting with the Yumi and falconry were popular pastimes of the Samurai class.

Traditionally Yabusame was a part of Bajutsu but evolved into a separate martial art in its own right.

Demonstration of Yabusame

Reference Sources

  1. Web Japan, What is Yabusume?, http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/virtual/yabusame/yabusame01.html, Added - 06/02/15

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