Maybe it’s cause I’m a dude (or that I play too many video games) but I’ve always been fascinated with archery. The process of drawing an arrow, taking aim, breathing control and taking the shot – it almost feels analogous to taking a photograph. If you ask me, there’s only one thing cooler than archery – horseback archery.
Yabusame is a Japanese archery ritual performed at religious festivals. Archers take turn galloping down a track at high speeds to shoot 3 targets in quick succession. While commonly performed at Shinto shrines, the one at Zushi (which I attended) is a little special – it’s performed on the beach. Talk about upping the ante.
It was pretty exciting and adrenaline pumping to watch the archers do their thing. There’s also something about the period costumes which really add to the atmosphere. I felt like I was part of a movie set!
The event drew to a rather premature end as the winds were so strong they could not keep the targets stable. I was rather disappointed because I *just* managed to squeeze into a new spot when they decided to call it a day. Better luck next time I guess.