Yabusame is an exhibition of Japanese horseback archery wherein riders at full gallop shoot arrows at stationary targets. It is said roots of the event can be traced back to the 6th Century. Today, it is both a stunning presentation of power, skill, and pageantry as well as the preservation of tradition, culture, and Shinto spiritualism. It is martial arts elevated to its most pure and philosophical form.
Indievisual interviewee Furuta Wataru was given unique access to photograph Yabusame events held in four places across Japan and has created an exquisite photo book chronicling the archers, the horsemanship, the colorful costumes, and the people who strive to keep this practice alive. Moreover, the decision to publish the eBook was purposefully chosen at this unprecedented time as a means to assist the Japan Equestrian Archery Association and the Takeda School of Horseback Archery which have been impacted by event cancellations due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Holding public exhibitions is the primary source of income for the care and maintenance of the horses, therefore they have been subjected to similar hardships as anywhere else in the world. Wanting to pay back the trust these groups placed in him to document their practices, Furuta is donating a portion of the book sales to assist with their running costs.
If you’re a fan of Japanese culture or Japanese martial arts, the book is a stunning collection of authentic feudal Japan culture preserved for modern times. If you’re experiencing the wonder, beauty, and lethality of ancient Japanese samurai marital arts through “The Ghost of Tsushima,” here’s a chance to see the real-life costumes, weapons, and techniques employed by Jin, Lady Masako, and in particular Sensei Ishikawa, among others captured against the backdrop of Japan’s pristine natural surroundings and interestingly enough urban settings, too.
For international buyers, the “Yabusame” eBook can be found on Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore as well as Apple Books. Domestic buyers can also find it on Kinokuniya, BookLive, Yodobashi, BookWalker, honto, mibon, and RakutenKobo.
Most of these platforms offer preview pages, or take a look on Furuta’s own portfolio page here: https://www.watarufuruta.com/portfolio_page/yabusame-takeda-ryu-wataru-furuta/