Yabusame Photo Album

Yabusame, one of the most notable events in Kamakura, takes place twice a year, one in mid-April and the other in mid-September at the precinct of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Yabusame in Kamakura dates back to the 12th century. Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199), the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate, employed it as a martial training in 1187. Later, the Shrine ritualized it and has since been honoring as an annual observance. The mounted archers shoot in quick succession at three stationary targets placed at intervals of 70 meters on the left-hand side of the track, while riding at full gallop on the narrow 250-meter-long Yabusame path in the Shrine's grounds. All archers are clad in the ancient hunting costume.
On April 18, 2010, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos was invited to the event.

The pictures here were presented by courtesy of Ms. K Yamaguchi, who lives in Kamakura. She has a wonderful website of watercolor paintings titled "Kim's Watercolor Gallery", displaying her own works.

Note: Yabusame shown here was performed by archers of Ogasawara School.