Kamakura Yabusame Matsuri

It was in the 12th Century, that Kamakura quickly became a city of both Japanese politics and culture, as influential as Kyoto, with the iconic Tsurugaoka Hachimangu temple at its center. Because of its influence, Kamakura gathered a powerful army and as such had to train its troops and samurais in the latest combat techniques with “Yabusame” or horseback archery at one of the main disciplines.

Created and perfected in Kamakura, during what historians call the ‘Kamakura Period’ (1185-1333), Yabusame came from the alarming lack of archery skills of Shogun Minamoto’s Yoritomo samurais. Made mandatory for its skilled warriors, Yabusame became one of Japan’s martial arts as well as a part of its cultural heritage with Yabusame events taking place all across Japan every year.

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