O-mato Taikai involves around 2000 participants from all over Japan, shooting arrows into targets 60meters away. The origins of this tradition can be traced back to 1606 when Samurai Asaoka Shigemasa showed his skills by shooting 51 arrows across the length of a veranda.
As the girls lined up to shoot the arrows, you could see the intense concentration in their faces. Gone was the giggling and chit chatter heard just minutes before. Strong and beautiful, it was their moment to show the world they were ready for adulthood.
In Japanese, the word for bow is ‘Yumi’.
Young women from all over Japan participate in this archery exhibition
The face of concentration