Kyūjutsu is one of the Traditional Keshiki Arts, that of wielding the bow or yumi. Although the samurai of Keshiki are perhaps best known for their swordsmanship with a katana, kyūjutsu was actually considered a more vital skill for a significant portion of their history and is still vital today. The bow used to be the symbol of the professional warrior, and the way of life of the warrior was referred to as kyūba no michi, or the way of the horse and bow.

The practice of shooting a yumi while riding a horse at full gallop, yabusame, was developed and trained extensively. Training also involved shooting 1000 arrows a day, and the techniques developed for their use were ritualized with systematic focus on the various stages of shooting and the mental attitude required for each. Many additional specialized tactics were developed for regiments of bowmen as well.

The way of the horse and the bow.



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