Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Yabusame Festival (Translation of the posts on 18th, 20th September 2011)


To English readers, thank you for your long patience!
Please accept my apology that I did not publish English posts so long.  Due to my crazy work schedule, it has been just so difficult for me to arrange some time to sit in front of the computer to be engaged in writing a post in English.

Please accept many many thanks from me, too!
Despite the long absence of posts in English, I could see that many of you checked my blog if there was any new post coming up.

I will never give up my blog till I complete the work of translating all 86 Fujifabric songs to English.
Thank you for your support, my friends!

Today's post is about Yabusame Festival held on 18th and 19th September every year in Shimura kun's hometown, Fujiyoshida City.

Yabusame (流鏑馬) is a type of mounted archery in traditional Japanese archery. An archer on a running horse shoots special "turnip-headed" arrows successively at wooden targets.
This style of archery has its origins at the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185–1333). Minamoto no Yoritomo became alarmed at the lack of archery skills his samurai had. He organized yabusame as a form of practice.
Nowadays, the well-known places to see yabusame performed are at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū in Kamakura and Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto (during Aoi Matsuri in early May). It is also performed in Samukawa and on the beach at Zushi, as well as other locations.

Enjoy watching a video of Yabusame performed yesterday in Fujiyoshida City.
Yamanashi Daily Newspaper 19th September 2011 on Yabusame Festival

The one in Fujiyoshida is unique compared to the ones above.

It is not for the purpose of showing samurai's tradition and archery skills to the public, but  it is purely plays an important role in Shinto rituals.
Yabusame in Shimoyoshida is held in order to keep away fire and bad lucks from the town during autumn and winter because the god protecting the town is believed to come in spring and to leave in autumn.

Please refer to this interesting article written by Tara Lowe in Fujiyoshida City Official Website.
Yabusame Festival in Fujiyoshida

There are many stalls are set on streets to celebrate the ritual on these two days.  Shimura kun might have been to this festival with his friends in his childhood, and the Fujifabric's song, 'Mizuame To Wataame' might have been suggested by his actual memory at such local festivals.

Today's song is 'Mizuame To Wataame'.
Enjoy listening Fujifabric's classic!

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