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Tuesday, 30th August 2011
In Events In Japan,

World famous Yabusame contest is just weeks away

With August almost over there are only a few weeks before the famous Yabusame contest is held just a short distance from Yokohama.

The contest forms part of the Reitaisai (grand festival) of the 800-year old Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, near Kamakura.

During the festival, events including tea-offerings and performances of classical Japanese dance take place, but the highlight of the three-day event is the impressive Yabusame.

The spectacle combines horse riding and Japanese style archery, skills passed down from the ancient traditions of the Kamakura Period which was famed for its advanced combat tactics and weaponry.

Each year thousands of spectators gather to watch gallant contestants dressed in samurai hunting wear attempt to hit targets from a great distance while on horseback.

The arrowheads used by the competitors have an unusual shape that causes them to whistle spectacularly as they fly through the air, but only the finest marksmen who strike all three targets receive the adulation of crowd.

The festival runs for three days from September 14th to 16th.

Written by Susan Ballion