TAKEDA Kyûbajutsu

Publié le par Yama no Kami Nobusada

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The History of the Takeda school Kyûbadô

-The strongest Kyûbajutsu (Mounted A
rchery skills) since ancient times

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    The original roots of Yabusame come from the 530s A.D.. There were rebellions inside and outside of the country. Before putting these down, the 29th emperor Kinmei enshrined empress Jinkou and emperor Oujin in Buzen-no-kuni Usa. He prayed for "Tenka-taihei"(peace) and "Gokoku-houjyou"(good harvest) and then he shot, from moving horseback at three targets which represented Sankan(three Korean countries). This style of target shooting was called Yabaseme, which later changed to Yabusame, the term that is used now.

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    The 59th emperor Uta ordered the Minister of the Right Yoshiari Minamoto to develope the style of Kyuuba. Since then, "Kyuuba-no-reihou" (the style and method of mounted archery) has become the inheritance of the Minamoto family. One of the successors, Yoshimitsu Minamoto resided in Kai-shiohiraoka(Ichikawa-daimon) and became the founder of the Kai-genji family. In succession were Yoshikiyo and Kiyomitsu. The first son of Kiyomitsu, Tarou-nobuyoshi(who died in March of Bunji2, or 1186 A.D.), settled in Kai-takedanoshou(Nirasaki), and became the founder of the Kai-takeda family.

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    From then on through the Kamakura period and during the Muromachi period, the Takeda family was divided into 3 provincial areas(Koushuu, Geishuu, and Jakushuu). Of these three, the Geishuu Takeda family became conservators of the true method and rule books of "Kyuuba-no-reihou".


    At the same time, Yoritomo Minamoto gathered knowledge from ruling families and historians in order to establish the style of Yabusame. As the Seiitaishogun(a Grand General) who inagurates Kamakura feudal government, he wanted to have a ceremony which dedicated a Yabusame Divine Performance to the gurardian God of the Minamoto family at the Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu shrine.

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    The "Yabusame-shahou(method/style of shooting in Yabusame)" records this event, and is the oldest official inherited Yabusame rulebook. This rulebook has been inherited by the Takeda school , thus the Takeda school is the only school that has inherited the true Yabusame from the Kamakura period.

    The dedication after Houshoue in August 15th of Bunji 3, or 1187 A.D., was the beginning of the Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu Yabusame Divine Performance. At this time, Gorou- Nobumitsu Izawa, who was the fifth son of the above-mentioned Nobuyoshi Takeda, was chosen to be the second of the five Ite(archers). Since then every year, this ceremony has been performed on the same day or the 16th of August. Yabusame as well as Kasagake also had been done elsewhere such as Yu(h)igahama, Inamurasakihama, and flourished even as far as Miuramisaki. Houshoue Yabusame continued to grow through the three generations of the Minamoto family until Bunei 3 ,or 1266 A.D. "Azumakagami" tells about this and the two famous men Tokiyori and Tokimune Houjo devoted themselves to the training.


    Later, the ancestry and art of the Takeda family was temporarily transferred to the Takeda family in Wakasa(Fukui prefecture). Then in the beginning of the Tokugawa era, during the Keichou years, Nobunao Takeda in Aki (Hiroshima prefecture) entrusted Fujitaka Hosokawa with the ancestry and art of the Takeda family, and it was protected in the Higo-Hosokawa clan until the end of the Edo period.
    In Meiji 19, or 1886 A.D., it was succeeded by Master Heita Inoue, the first disciple of Master Tadamichi Takehara who had been a chief retainer of the former Hosokawa clan. After that, it was passed to Yurin Kaneko, a direct pupil of Master Inoue.
    In March of Showa 2, or 1927 A.D., Yurin Kaneko gave a lecture on the radio about "Houjou-ryu no Jindaiko"(Jindaiko of Houjou school). In May of Showa 6, he opened a horse riding field on the approach way to the tomb of Moriyoshi Shinnou at the Kamakura Shrine. He then dedicated a Yabusame Divine Performance as part of the annual ritual in August. (These performances lasted until Showa 8. ) The same year of Showa 6, he established "Nihon Bajutsu Fukyuukai"(Japan Horsemanship Popularization Society) and opened the horsebackriding practice field in Yu(h)igahama Name(ri)kawajiri.This event became big headlines in the newspapers.

    Since November of Showa 8, the Takeda school havs been honored with dedicating a Yabusame Divine Performance at the Meiji Jingu Shrine. The former Master Heita Inoue passed away in Kumamoto, and the 34th head master of Takeda family was succeeded by Yurin Kaneko. He inherited the "Yabusame-no Shahou", and hundreds of old books.         As for the Yabusame Divine Performance at the Meiji Shrine , it was conducted grandly until Showa 19. When the pacific War intensified and the Meiji Shrine was damaged, the performances were forced to halt. After the war, the Meiji Shrine was restored and the performances made a happy comeback at the annual ritual on November 3 of Showa 28.     Yabusame performances are held annually by the Takeda shcool as follows: the Yabusame Divine Performance at the Kamakura Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu, the Samukawa Jinja Shrine, the Mishima Taisha Shrine , the Meiji Jingu Shrine, and the Fuji Omuro Asama Jinja Shrine. Kasagake, another type of mounted archery, is held in Miura.    The Takeda school has been introducing Japanese traditional horsemanship by dedicating Yabusame Divine Performance at shrines all over the country such as in Kumamoto, Kouch, Fukushima, and Yamanashi prefectures.
    The Takeda school also presents lectures on Yabusame. After the war, a revival of Samurai dramas helped people understand true Japanese horsemanship . Behind the camera, the Takeda school has given instruction in mounted archery. The Takeda school has cooperated with the great movie director, Akira Kurosawa since such films as "Shichinin-no-samurai" through "Kagemusha", as well as dramas broadcasted on every TV station. The famous actor Toshiro Mifune, who was good at Japanese traditional horsemanship and martial arts was one of the best disciples of the Takeda school.
    In March of Showa 55, because of the advancing age of Yurin Kaneko, 94, the ancestry and art of the Takeda school was passed to the chief of the family, Shirou Ietaka Kaneko,
    Under Ietaka Kaneko's leadership, as the 35th head master of manners and rules in martial mounted archery, the school has flourished. As a result, there are many Yabusame performances overseas, such as France, Germany, and other places. In recent memory are the dedications of Yabusame Divine Performance in the presence of the U.S. presidents Regan and Bush. Now, many of the Takeda school disciples are working hard at training. They have good control over former-racehorses, which are not supposed to be suitable for Yabusame. Year after year, you can see the stunts oftraditional Yabusame Divine Performances and Kasagake being dedicated at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, the Kamakura Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu, and in various other regions.


Publié dans Arts Martiaux

Commenter cet article

Jin kazama 29/03/2008 16:07

waoo sugoii kumi no takeda shin bu kan this blog is very interressant I love history,the period of middle age is so fascinating so des ne ...moreover in the story of this beautiful country . sayonala sore ki ni itta