Bow and arrows, which served as both a weapon and a tool for the ceremony, mentioned in the earliest chronicles of Japan. Like art itself archery – Kyudo. Early use of bows and arrows in Japan was basically ceremonial in nature, but by the time of a class of professional warriors bow became the main weapon of war. There were two main traditions, one of them specialized in a bow on horseback, and the second on use it on foot. While in the ceremonial use of the bow and arrow you can see the continental Asian influence, the design of the Japanese bow, seems to be local. Japanese bow asymmetrical two-thirds of its length rise during the shot of an archer. This design was developed in order to soldiers horse could use a long bow, since most of the battles waged in the early Japanese on horseback.
The main goal of Kyudo, Art onion, is to make a soldier out of well-aimed arrow, able to operate effectively in combat. This ability lies not only in the physical mastery of technique of fire, but in a balanced combination mental and physical qualities. In his earliest forms of Kyudo was aggressive martial art. But with decreasing importance of the role of archers, which occurred in the first place, because of the predominance of close-in engagements, and, secondly, because of the appearance of firearms, the practical value of Kyudo has become more protective. Nevertheless, the educational value of Kyudo is preserved, and it remains one of the ways of spiritual development.
The first and important in Kyudo – take this yugamae, proper reception, without which effective use of the bow. And although the provisions for shooting a horse and shooting on foot, of course, differ somewhat, they are based on common principles. Both provisions are intended to establish the physical and mental domination (dzansin) hand over their enemy. This condition must be maintained even after the boom is released. In training Kyudo soldier shoots in a special purpose thousands of arrows from a distance of only a few feet. It was only when his shooting technique Kyudo is correct, it starts to increase distance. Shooting method inagasi (deg) was supreme test for the foot archer. With such a firing of an archer was required to maintain a continuous stream of arrows in an hour. The supreme test of horse archer was yabusame, a sacred ritual, which consisted in shooting target at full gallop. Historically been a pioneer Kyudo Nihon-ryu. By the fifteenth century, it inspired the foundation of six other ryu.