Tuesday 21 April 2015

yabusame - traditional horseback archery

Saturday we headed off to Tokyo, Sumida ward to watch the Yabusame.
Yabusame is the traditional art of horseback archery, we have seen it before, a few years ago but in a different location.

Unfortunately this place was difficult to get a good spot to watch, all the good places were paid seats, so I recommend the November show if you are planning to see it.

The contenders are dressed in traditional garb, some from the Kamakura period and then some from the later Eno period....

I remembered this horse from last time..

To start with, I was only getting photos of the back of the womans head who was stood in front of me, so I handed my camera over to Ebi-kun since he has managed to sneak to the front...if only he was a little taller!

The ladies who were in the way left after a while, so I snagged a good spot eventually...
Just taken the shot...

And pulling the next arrow for the next target, they have to hit three targets each run...

The archers these days have to be much quicker, the old samurai horses would have been smaller and slower but these days they use European bred horses which are faster and it means that the archers lose a second between targets...

It's quite exciting but it takes them forever to get going. It was scheduled to start at 1pm but they didn't actually start the archery until nearly 2pm. A lot of of waffling and ceremonial stuff, not interesting if you can't see what is going on!

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