The Japan Equestrian Archery Association has presented yabusame performance to foreign dignitaries, including several Presidents of the United States of America. The Association also has experiences going abroad for performance such as to Bahrain in December 2002 and to Oman in January 2006. The photos are of April 24, 2014 when President Barack Obama of the United States visited Meiji Jingu shrine to see yabusame during his state visit.
Yabusame Events of 2018
Kawasaki Racecourse Yabusame Kishashiki
January 3 (Wed.)
The first Yabusame performance of the year takes place at Kawasaki Racecourse
The horses are in high spirits in the spacious racecourse. The horse is Shugets.
Concluding the archery on horseback, the harness is taken off to the horse’s relief.
Odawara Plum Festival Yabusame Ritual
February 11 (Sun.)
Ritual before the archery on horseback. Passengers on the passing-by train observe with curiosity.
The performance starts with the drum beats of Ha-no-taiko and concludes with Tome-no-taiko.
Running through the Soga plum grove. The horse is Suisei.
After the shooting, while returning from the finishing point to the starting point, the archer gets back his shooted arrows from the arrow staff.
Kamakura Festival Yabusame Ritual April 15 (Sun.)
The rituals such as Kaburaya hoken and Ganmon sojo take place at the Maiden of the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.
The procession at the riding course is headed by shoyaku (staff ), followed by bugyo ( magistrate) and ite (archer on horseback) on foot and sobugyo (chief of the magistrates) and ite on horseback.
Votive shooting is performed by group one and group two separately aiming at shiki no mato (target with drawing of 5 colored circles )and ita mato( wooden target). The horse is Hachiryu.
While passing in front of the tower on the return to the starting point, kata abumi no rei ( removal of a feet from the stirrup ) is performed as reverence.
The archers return from the Maiden after the gaijin no shiki (victory ceremony) The participants of the kyosha ( competitive shooting ) have the devil mask removed from the headgear.
A lecture on Yabusame took place for student citizens.
Fuji Omurosengen Jinja Yabusame Ritual April 29 (Sun.)
The Yabusame ground is located by the Lake Kawaguchiko where openness can be enjoyed. However, the wind blows very strongly now and then.
The performance was held with cherry blossoms in full bloom. The horse is Tenzan
Miura Dosun Festival Kasagake May 27 (Sun.)
In the morning, memorial service is held for Dosun Miura and his clan who perished here.
Kasagake is held on an arrow-shaped course. On the going the targets are to the left. On the return, they are to the right side ground level and left side ground level.
Gaijin no shiki .The magistrate opens his fan and observes the target through the rids of the fan in front of the best scored archer.
After the performance the executive committee organizes a photo session.
Pictures with ite ( archers on horseback ) and horses can be taken with the sea as back ground.
Mishima Taisha Yabusame Ritual August 17 (Fri.)
Morning practice. Very hot but dangerous to relax the attention. Fighting spirit is necessary even during practice.
After the practice atsubusa ornaments are fixed on. Harness and ornaments are placed with great care.
The ite (archer on horseback) march in line to Honden (main shrine). Several Mishima Taisha priests participate as ite.
The ite (archer on horseback), priest of Mishima Taisha at subase ( test run without the shooting).
Samukawa Jinja Yabusame Ritual September 19 (Wed.)
Before the ritual the Marai no gi is performed to purify the horse’s legs at Maraidobashi. The horses are Asuka and Heian.
Kogun (procession). The master is followed by the priests of Samukawa Jinja Shrine and Shirahata Jinja Shrine.
The ite (archer on horseback)who is a priest of the Samukawa Jinja Shrine aims at the second target. The horse is Asuka.
Naorai. At Shinmon the magistrate, ite ( archers on horseback), shoyaku (staff) receive the sacred sake in order.
Kamigamo Jinja Kasagake Ritual October 21 (Sun.)
Yashiroburi. A ceremony to decide the order of participation of the ite ( archer on horseback) by drawing the gathered arrows.
Kasagake on the going ( yundeyoko, left side target ). Kamigamo Jinja is the only shrine that performs Kasagake as shrine dedication.
Kasagake on the return. The ite (archer on horseback) aims at the target on the right side ground level (metesugai). The horse is Genta ubuginu.
Kasageke on the return .The ite ( archer on horseback) aims at the left side ground level target (yundesgai).
Same as last year, a session was set up for “ Tokyo 2020 Supporting Program” to exchange ideas between ite ( archer on horseback ) and spectators.
Meiji Jingu Yabusame Ritual November 3 (Sat.)
Meigen no gi takes place at the Main Shrine. The bowstring is sounded 3 times to chase away the evil spirits .
Kyosha (competitve shooting). The top scored archers aim at dokisanzun ( small clay target). Confetti flys out when the clay cracks.
Cultural exchange session. Many foreign spectators attended and made many questions.
“Meet the Horses ,2018” of Equine Cultural Affairs Foundation at Negishi ,Yokohama November 11 (Sun.)
Many children attend this event. Due to the short riding course , only one target is set up. You can see yabusame and kasagake styles.
The different styles of shooting are exhibited only in such occasions.
The photo shows the oshiburi style.
Zushi Beach Yabusame Kishashiki November 18 (Sun.)
Tencho chikyu no shiki. The bow is drawn towards the sky while praying for world peace and good harvest.
The last yabusame performance of the year. Zushi beach is spacious and easy to ride. Therefore frequently the debut of the ite ( archer on horseback) takes place here.
Ethnosport Culture Festival , Istanbul, Turkey May 9 (Wed.) ～12 (Sat.)
Yabusame was presented for the first time in Turkey on the occasion of “Ethnosport Culture Festival” at Istanbul, Turkey.
Yenikapi Park where the event took place.
The ite (archer on horseback) hits the second target riding a local horse . The spectators give shouts of joy and cry ‘Tekichu’ Good shot!”
There were many local interviews.
Riding local horses was not an easy task as the local horses each had their unique characters.
Ashu （Ağşa), Fundek（Fındık), Itoemir, Alisharada (Alişar), Fedakyarol（Fedakar）and Mizar（Mizar） were the 6 horses’ names.
The Japan Equestrian Archery Association thanks very much to those who have visited the website and especially to those who have answered the questionnaire.
The questionnaire has being closed on January 31, 2017 with its mission concluded for the time being.
We hope to have you at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thank you again.