Saturday, 17 January 2009

Shirou Ietaka Kaneko

Shirou Ietaka Kaneko is head of the Takeda school of horseback archery the sport which, in Japanese, is called yabusame and which this article calls the sport of the samurai. 

Kaneko, riding since he was 10 and shooting since he was 17, grew up with horses aruond him in his parents stables. Reading about him and this interesting 'sport'. I find it hard to call it a sport, but as Kaneko himself states "In our school, it is our earnest desire to connect [with the target]." It certainly seems to require great skill to keep the steed steady and stable in order to provide a platform from which to shoot accurately then one needs to ensure archery skills are mastered before getting anywhere near the target. 

"When people think of the samurai, they don't realize that in the old days, archery was more important in battle than swords," said Hisashi Yoshimi, a competitor at a recent beach event.

Check out the video and you'll see the skill required- they don't half belt along!

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