Horse (Uma): Soga no Gorô, from the series Heroes Representing the Twelve Animals of the Zodiac (Buyû mitate jûnishi) Japanese about 1840 (Tenpô 11) Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861), Publisher Minatoya Kohei (Japanese) DIMENSIONS Chûtanzaku; 35.4 x 12.5 cm (13 15/16 x 4 15/16 in.) Currently at the MFA ACCESSION NUMBER 11.16583 MEDIUM OR TECHNIQUE Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Yabusame 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. This style of archery has its origins at beginning of Kamakura period. Minamoto no Yoritomo became alarmed at the lack of archery skills his samurai had. He organized yabusame as a form of practice.