Tag Archives: Festivals

Yabusame – Women’s Horseback Archery Festival

Photo property of NewinNippon

The history of Japanese horseback archery dates back to the 4th century, however, women mounted archers are a modern innovation.

Photo property of NewinNippon

Photo property of NewinNippon

Yabusame (流鏑馬) is a type of mounted archery in traditional Japanese archery. An archer on a running horse shoots three special “turnip-headed” arrows successively at three wooden targets. A red parasol is displayed if the rider hits the target with the arrow.

Photo property of NewinNippon

Traditionally, women were barred from performing in yabusame, but in 1963 female archers participated in a yabusame demonstration for the first time. Every spring in Towada, women from around the area demonstrate their marksmanship while balancing on a galloping horse!

Photo property of NewinNippon

A yabusame archer gallops down a 255-meter-long track at high speed. The archer mainly uses the knees to control the horse and uses both hands to draw and shoot the bow.

Yabusame was designed as a way to please and entertain the myriad of gods that watch over Japan, thus encouraging their blessings for the prosperity of the land, the people, and the harvest.

Photo property of NewinNippon

An arrow finds it’s mark!

Photo property of NewinNippon

A young archer in training.

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Its Festival Time in Nothern Japan!

July and August are the summer festival months in Northern Japan. Every weekend there are multiple festivals nearby making it difficult to choose which one to attend! If you are in the area, here is a list of upcoming festivals

We attended the Neputa festival in Hirosaki last weekend. The parade of floats lasted for three hours while the crowd cheered them on. The floats are pulled by groups of men and women. Each float had drummers and flute players accompanied by groups of children carrying lanterns. The festival was truly a joyous celebration!

 

On a sad note, my Sony Cybershot DSC W-150 died 30 minutes before the parade ended. As you can see, the camera was taking fantastic night shots right up until the last. R.I.P. my dear little Sony Cybershot. You will be mourned…

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America Day: Red, White, and Blue!

Every year during the first week of june, Misawa AB coordinates with Misawa City to host a festival called “America Day”.  Local japanese folks can enjoy live music, carnival food, and photo opportunities just as if they were at a typical festival in the U.S. This year there were many live country western bands and a special performance from the Pacific Air Force Band. The weather was sunny and the turnout was spectacular.

Uncle Sam even made an appearance!

Across the street are the food booths set up by the local Japanese vendors. This is where most of the Americans were heading. Wait until you see the treats!

From the back: fried sweet potatoes, french fries, french fries with hot dogs, and cheese rolls!

 My latest food obsession, crepes, fruit and whipped creme!

 My husband’s latest food obsession: marinated, grilled steak on a stick, of course.

America Day was a welcome reminder of the sounds and tastes of home, whether that home be the U.S. or Japan. Sharing food and creating new memories reminds us of how much we really have in common. Enjoying a sunny day. Savoring a hot, fresh funnel cake. Tapping your foot to “Sweet Home Alabama”. These are the simple moments that make life so sweet.

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