Japanese Girls in Kimonos Shooting Things (in Archery)

An expat in Japan has done a quick write-up on a festival in Japan where young women, dressed in kimonos, participate in an archery competition.

DSC_0159The Toshiya Archery Event is part of the coming-of-age ceremonies for 20-year-olds, held nationwide in January, but the archery is special to the Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto. Writes the attending expat:

Toshiya is an event that goes back some four hundred years though today it is significantly different. In the past, Toshiya was predominately for men to show off their prowess and skill with a bow. Today, archers shoot at targets 60 meters distant but in the past archers would shoot the entire length of the long Sanjusangendo Temple which measures about 120 meters. 

Men participate too, as this is part of a festival coming from the samurai tradition, but they don't look quite so lovely.

There are a few gems among the many photos posted from the event, so be sure to check those out as well.

via Roving Ronin Report

Read more about Kyoto

The Japan Books section of the Konnichiwhoa Mini-shop has fantastic books on Kyoto! There are highlighted books featuring Kyoto's gardens and ancient Japanese architectural details for your home.

Japanese Martial Arts Styles Explained

If you're a fan of Japanese martial arts styles and want to learn more, there's a wiki that's a gold mine for you. Gottsupedia, as it's known, is a repository of Japanese martial arts – especially aikido – along with their histories and specific techniques.

Aikido-picFor example, here's a snippet on the Yoshinkan school of aikido:

Yoshinkan's emphasis on basics and instilling them in students through repeated drills is a direct product of the difficulties encountered when Yoshinkan first began teaching exceptionally large groups, such the Tokyo police. … Ueshiba did not give exact instruction, instead he would show a technique and let everyone figure it out saying "That's fine, that's fine" to everyone's way of doing it. 

The entire wiki is the work of just one guy, so there's not much yet in the way of collaborative editing or fact-checking, but the 193 articles on hand show that the one dude is pretty serious about his stuff. 

via Gottsupedia. Thanks, Cook Ding.

You probably won't get in a fight in Japan

But you should know what to do if you meet the Japanese police. Read the Guide to Police in Japan.