O-mato taikai at Sanjusangen-do temple

Seeing young girls dressed in Hare-gi Kimonos, holding a bow and arrow, might not be a sight you often see. But last January, young girls participated in an archery event at Sanjusangen-do temple to celebrate Seijin no hi (Coming of age day), at the O-mato Taikai festival.

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.

Source: discoverykyoto

In Japanese, the word for bow is ‘Yumi’. 

Archery in Japan was one of the disciplines practiced by Samurais during the feudal times.

 Young women from all over Japan participate in this archery exhibition

 The face of concentration

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