Glossary (Phrase list) >> Yabusame

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やぶさめ, Horseback archery

 

  Yabusame 流鏑馬 had already existed in the Heian period (8C - 12C) as one of the practical Samurai's martial arts on horseback.

 

  Yoritomo Minamoto (源頼朝, 12C, Founder of Kamakura Shogunate) emphasized Yabusame.  He held it as a samurai's honor and also as a Shogunate's event.

  It's said that Yabusame was held 47 times as a dedication to the deity of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu by the middle of the Kamakura Period.

 

  However that archery faded as times changed from the individual skill-dependent times to the era of new weapons and the tactical emphasis.

  Even after those declines, Yabusame archery has been handed down to the current generation.

 

  Now, Tsuruoka Hachimangu holds Yabusame performance several times a year in the same way as they did in the Kamakura period.

  It's difficult to see the archery mearby unless we have tickets or come to the site a few hours before the opening time because so many people come to see it in the shrine's grounds.

 

  Yabusame on the beach is held in Zushi, an immediately neighboring city of Kamakura, once a year.

  More people can see the archery on the open beach than the limited space of the shrine's grounds.  We can come around the site anytime, but it's recommended to come before the opening time in order to see the shoots at the place near the run-way.

  It's another fun to see the unique scenery of the Zushi's Yabusame.  Audience this side saw people watching the archery from on yacht or on the surfboard.

 

= Yearly events in Kamakura =

 

  Yabusame opens to the public every year, as follows.

 

April (middle): Kamakura City Festival

 

It's held as an event during that yearly festival by Kamakura City.

* at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

* Seat reservation by purchasing wristband is available in the past few years. Sales are donated to disaster areas.

 

September (middle): Hachimangu Festival

 

It's held as an event during that yearly festival by Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

* at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

* All seats are already reserved for the invited guests, but some free space is opened.

 

October (beginning): Sukeisha-worshipper's Association Festival

 

It's held as an event during that events, which were provided in the past few years.

* at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

* All seats are already reserved for the invited guests, but some free space is opened.

 

November (middle): Yabusame Archery on the beach

 

It's held as an yearly event provided by Zushi City, which in the neighboring city to Kamakura city. We can enjoy seeing the Japanese traditional horsback archery on the open beach.

* at Zushi Beach

* Addmission free and more open space is available comparing to the closed ground in a shrine.

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