Traditional horseback archery returns to Kamakura

Riders in samurai costumes galloped through the precincts of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in a display of yabusame (mounted archery), as the Kamakura Festival returned for the first time in four years. The tradition is said to have been started more than 800 years ago by the samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo, who established the first shogunate in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. It has continued to this day as a ritual to pray for peace, tranquility and a bountiful harvest. The archers rode along a 250-meter course while shooting arrows at three targets, drawing cheers and applause when they hit the mark.

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