KAMAKURA RETAISAI FESTIVAL

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YABUSAME 2614.jpg

A rider readies his mount prior to the "yabusame-shinji" horseback archery ritual on the final day of the Reitaisai grand festival at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura, Japan on  14 Sept. 2012. The yabusame ritual is performed by members of the Ogasawara school, which began mounted archery rituals in the 12th century. .Yabusame was originated in middle of 6th century as a Shinto ritual. Today there are various styles and manners of Yabusame inherited by different shrines and particular families. It was common in the ancient past that the result of Yabusame depended on the number of targets successfully hit, and also fragments of the target were used to tell fortunes. The target and arrows used in successful shots were kept as amulets. The initiation of Yabusame in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu was 1186. Photographer: Robert Gilhooly
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