Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

Samurai Girls Do Battle!!!

Samurai Girls fight with spear and sword at a Shinsengumi Festival in Tokyo. Shinsengumi were a special police force in Kyoto who kept the peace for the Shogun at a bloody price in the 1860s.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yabusame at Nikko – Samurai Horseback Archery

Yabusame is Japanese horseback archery, a tradition that goes back well over 1000 years. The first samurai referred to their profession as “The Way of the Horse and Bow” – the sword as a principle weapon coming much much later.

This Yabusame event took place in Nikko which is 2 hours north of Tokyo. It’s the resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867). The Ogasawara Ryu (school of archery) conducted the event. They do Yabusame there in May and October.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

September 14, 2012 Posted by | Archery, festival, japan, japanese archery, japanese culture, Japanese martial arts, samurai, travel, Yabusame | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ninja vs Samurai at a Japanese Festival (Nagoya Matsuri)

The age-old question of “Ninja vs Samurai – who would win?” was tackled recently at Nagoya Matsuri in a fight between a blue-clad ninja (a Smurf ninja?) and an armor-wearing samurai. The results may surprise you; however with Ninja, things are not always as they seem…

November 3, 2011 Posted by | japan, japanese culture, Japanese festival, martial arts, matsuri, Nagoya, ninja, Only in Japan, samurai, video | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki (Japanese Archery Ritual) and Horseless Yabusame

Over the New Years holidays, Yasukuni Shrine holds an archery ritual known as San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki. Two teams of archers shoot at targets whose measurements relate to the principle of ying yang. The ritual is held at the beginning of the year and it in olden times, it was the first archery event of the new year.

After the ritual, yabusame was performed. Yabusame is mounted archery where an archer rides a horse and shoots at the three targets. Yasukuni, however, doesn’t have the ground for such an event so they improvised using a fake horse and turning in around in a circle.

January 29, 2010 Posted by | Archery, japan, japanese archery, kyudo, martial arts, San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki, Sport, tokyo, video, Yabusame, yasakuni shrine | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Some New Years Activities at Yasukuni Shrine

Over the New Years holiday, I visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine for some of their New Years activities that they had over 3 days. Martial arts, shamisen, dance, archery, sword-making, and head biting lion dogs Yasukuni had it going on.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | japan, japanese archery, japanese culture, Japanese martial arts, New Years, tokyo, travel, video, yasakuni shrine | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aikido Demo at a Tokyo Garden

During the New Years holiday, I was at Hamarikyu Garden in east Tokyo to look at Japanese falconry when I came across a brief demonstration of Aikido. Aikido is as many people know a Japanese martial arts which is about redirecting an attacker’s energy and neutralizing them without causing them physical injury.

Though it doesn’t look like it, it was freaking cold being January 3rd!

January 4, 2010 Posted by | aikido, japan, japanese culture, Japanese martial arts, karate, martial arts, Sport, tokyo, video | , , , , , | 2 Comments