KAMAKURA RETAISAI FESTIVAL

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JAPAN HORSEBACK ARCHERY 9419.jpg

Tsuneharu Ogasawara, a 28-year-old neurology graduate student, shows off his traditional hunting garb after the Yabusame Shinji ritual in Kamakura, near Tokyo. Ogasawara us one of the chief participants in the ritual, which involves several riders on horseback firing arrows at targets while galloping at speed and dates back to the 12th century. It is  aimed at appeasing the numerous gods that guard Japan and was initiated by Kamakura shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo  in an attempt to improve his samurai warrior's appalling archery skills.
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