KAMAKURA RETAISAI FESTIVAL

Image 73 of 86
< Prev Next >

YABUSAME 2854.JPG

Dressed in traditional attire, Kiyomoto Ogasawara rides his mount along the 250-meter course for the "yabusame-shingi" mounted archery ritual on final day of the  3-day Reitaisai festival in Kamakura, Japan on  16 Sept. 2012.  A graduate student of neurology, Ogasawara is the 32nd-generation descendant of the founder of the Ogasawara school of horseback archery, which is based in Fujusawa..Samurai using bows first emerged in the 10th century, and mounted archery developed thereafter as a training exercise. Mounted archery subsequently became both a military tool and Shinto ritual, with two famous schools of mounted archery developing. The oldest of those schools was at Kamakura, where Minamoto no Yoriyoshi first enshrined the deity of Hachimangu after suppressing a rebellion by a rival clan in northern Honshu in 1063. The shrine was moved to its present location in 1191, by which time yabusame had already become a key part of the samurai armory..When Yoritomo Minamoto first established his government in Kamakura, he encouraged his warriors to practice wrestling, swordsmanship and archery and to develop their skills to very high levels. Yabusame was organized to demonstrate those skills to the imperial court and was dedicated to the Hachimangu deity. The task of training the warriors fell to Ogasawara Nagakiyo, and 32 generations later his family continues the highly ritualized traditions...Photographer: Robert Gilhooly.
twitterlinkedinfacebook