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Yabusame — traditional archer on horseback — started in the Kamakura Period (1185–1333) as a way to appease the gods for prosperity and hone the Zen-like focus of samurai warriors.

The eventual arrival of firearms eventually to the decline of archery as a military necessity, though reenactments are currently staged around the country at various times of the year, most famously at shrines in Kamakura and Kyoto.

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