Little House In Ise


Yabusame in Toyama Koen (戸山公園で流鏑馬)
October 13, 2008, 18:20
Filed under: Aikido | Tags: , , , , , ,

Toyama Koen is a largish park about five minutes walk from my house here in Tokyo. For “Physical Fitness” day, a national holiday, there was a Yabusame demonstration held there. Yabusame is horseback archery and, in some ways, the traditional definition of Bushido.

Horseback archery seems hard enough just conceptually but in this demonstration the goal was to hit three targets in succession — at a full gallop. Wow!

In one of the pictures here you will notice a group men in traditional clothing sitting to the left of the target area. My first impression was that they had paid for really cheap seats without realizing the event was free. It later occurred to me that, perhaps, they were the opposing team and, having won the coin toss, had chosen to receive… But no, they were judges of some sort. That all by itself eliminates Yabusame as a possible Olympic sport. Image what a really angry olympian would do having gotten low marks from one of the judges (see the sixth pic below)!

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