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"ASAKUSA YABUSAME (Horseback Archery) "

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Top: holding balance only with the legs on top of a galloping horse and shooting the target... impressive.
Left: the archer with full scores are awarded a white sash.
Right: confetti is thrown the moment the arrow hits the target.


Yabusame is a traditional event in Japan which its beginning dates back 900 years. From on top of a galloping horseback, the archer aims at three targets one after another. The targets - ichi no mato, ni no mato and san no mato - are each 50 centimeters square and is made of wood. Shooting through all three of them is an extremely difficult task even for experts with years and years of training.
The yabusame performed today still follows the traditional manner with archers wearing karishouzoku (hunting outfit) and others also dressed in costumes of hundreds of years ago.
These photographs were taken at the Asakusa Yabusame performed on April 15th, but there are other yabusame performances held in other places in Japan as sacred events. Tsuruoka Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura hosts yabusame twice a year in April and September.

[Location] Sumida Park
                  2-1 Hanakawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo
[Access] 5-min-walk from Asakusa Station: Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tobu Line
[Inquiry] 03-5246-1111
[Admission] free
[URL] http://www.e-asakusa.jp/event/0604_yabusame.html (Asakusa Yabusame Official Site, Japanese)
          http://www.taitocity.com/kanko/asakusa_ueno/e_guide/index.html (Taito Ward Official Site, English)

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