During the Kamakura Period, samurai warriors were almost always mounted archers. To be a good samurai, each had to be skillful in mounted archery. In peace time, they sharpened their skills with hunting and target-shooting, or Yabusame. It is a mounted archery. Archers shot the three stationary targets in quick succession riding a horse at full gallop. Yabusame was held under the patronage of the Shogun. Winners were honored and promoted. In commemoration of this practice, Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine holds this Yabusame archery twice a year. It is getting internationally popular. On May 19 and 20, 2001, Yabusame was demonstrated at Hyde Park, London in the Japan 2001 event. Prince Charles and Prince Hiro of Japan watched the show. President Bush and First Lady Laura also watched the demonstration on February 20, 2002 at Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo at their official visit to Japan.
Yabusame photo album at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu — A guide to Kamakura, Kamakura terminology