KAMAKURA RETAISAI FESTIVAL

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JAPAN HORSEBACK ARCHERS 9363.jpg

A horseback archer dressed in a traditional hunting garb is escorted along a 255-meter course during the Yabusame Shinji ritual at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura, near Tokyo on 17 Sept. 2008. The ritual, which involves several riders on horseback firing arrows at targets while galloping at speed, dates back to the 12th century and is aimed at appeasing the numerous gods that guard Japan. It was initiated by Kamakura shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo  in an attempt to improve his samurai warrior's appalling archery skills...Photographer: Robert Gilhooly
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