Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Oddly Enough

Japanese keep ancient archery tradition alive

Wednesday, 17 Sep, 2014 - 00:59

Based on rituals of warrior samurai, Japanese horseback archery continues to draw crowds. Sharon Reich reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

This ancient horseback archery ritual called "Yabusame" wows thousands at a shrine in Kamakura, south of Tokyo. SOUNDBITE: 70-year-old spectator and Kamakura resident Masataka Koyama saying (Japanese): "It's incredible. It feels like I'm looking at an ancient picture scroll. I'm very impressed." The practice was started by the first Shogun of the Kamakura period (1185-1333 A.D) out of concern that his samurai lacked proper archery skills. Clad in samurai garb, participants aim to hit three wooden targets and then the fragments are used to tell fortunes. SOUNDBITE: 36-old-old archer Hirokazu Umezawa saying (Japanese): "I'm being taught now these 800-year-old skills, and I want to continue on mastering them to be able to pass them down to the next generation." Fortunately for these marksmen the tradition isn't carried out to the letter. In the old days samurai who'd performed poorly were often asked to commit seppuku - or ritualised suicide.

Japanese keep ancient archery tradition alive

Wednesday, 17 Sep, 2014 - 00:59

Top News »

Editors' Picks »

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, 17 Dec, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sun, 09 Dec, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Mon, 10 Dec, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, 29 Aug, 2014 - (1:00)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 11 Aug, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, 08 Aug, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Fri, 01 Aug, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, 11 Jul, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Thu, 03 Jul, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, 20 Jun, 2014 - (3:04)