In April, hoping to catch the cherry blossoms in spring, my family arrived in Japan for the first time. I left Takamatsu and met them for a whirlwind tour of Tokyo. By chance there just happened to be a ‘YabuSame’ (horse archery) event taking place on day 2 of our trip.

Having no knowledge of horse archery other than the fact that it looks incredibly badass, we stood for around 2 hours listening to the opening introductions. I did a very poor job of translating this for my family.

After that however, we were lucky enough to witness one of Japans famous schools taking on the short sprint and shot at the target. The “turnip-headed” arrows are fired at the wooden targets to cheers and applause from the crowd. The artistry behind it was fascinating. Everything was carefully taken care of and respected, from the quality of the bright clothes, the shine on the horses coat, the respect for the ceremony and of course the bows and arrows themselves. A great example of the meticulous respect and dedication to a single practice that seems to be so uniquely tied to Japan.
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