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Yabusame: Horseback Archery of the Samurai

June 27 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Experience a special demonstration of master archers sharing their craft!

Traditional Art in Modern Japan Series

*In Person, English Program

YABUSAME is the traditional Japanese martial art of horseback archery, where the archer shoots at wooden targets with bow and arrows while riding a horse at full gallop along a track after having let go of the reins. This martial art traces its origins back to days of the Samurai, and was designed to keep warriors in top physical condition.

The Ogasawara school of Japan has been teaching Reiho, Hosha, and Kisha (Etiquette, Standing Archery, and Horseback Archery) for over 830 years. Today, Yabusame is primarily practiced for its ceremonial, educational and athletic aspects, as a way to discipline your mind and body. Use of the Mokuba, or wooden horse, allows training for Yabusame to be conducted indoors and when horses are not available.

Join us for a unique experience to see the traditional martial art form of Yabusame as practiced on the Mokuba. Participants will receive an introduction to Yabusame and its development as a training tool for the Samurai. You will see a demonstration of Yabusame, performed on the rotating Mokuba, and several attendees will have the chance to try shooting using the traditional Yumi (Japanese longbow) and Kaburaya (turnip-head arrows).

Our honored speaker is Kiyomoto Ogasawara, the 32nd Head of the Ogasawara-Ryu, assisted by Tim Macmillan and Maria Peterson of Redwood Kyudojo and the Ogasawara-Ryu America Branch. Tim holds the Nurimuchi license in Kisha and is Shibucho of the America Branch. Maria holds the Sanbontou license in Hosha and is Jimukyoku of the America Branch.

Let’s all experience Yabusame together!

*This event is limited to 40 people so make sure you sign up quickly to reserve your spot.
**Casual exercise clothes are required! Please wear something that you can move in comfortably.


Date & Time:
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 from 6:00-7:30 PM

Opening remarks – Kendra De Nike | Office Admin, Japan Society of Northern California
6:05-6:15 Kiyomoto Ogasawara |
32nd Head of the Ogasawara-Ryu
– Introduction of Ogasawara-Ryu, emphasizing the role of Kisha (horse
archery) in the era of the Samurai, and explaining the modern practice of Kisha and Yabusame
– Performances + Q&A
Demonstration of Kisha using Mokuba, followed by demonstration of Yatsugae
– How to stand and how to nock arrows
– Q&A
Demonstration and hands-on practice of the form of opening a bow, using stretchy bands (No bows and arrows. We will provide equipment and assistants to help participants.)
FUN TIME! Let’s try Yatsugae and Mokuba
– Assisted shooting into a net
7:00-7:05 Closing Remarks – Steve Pollock | President, Japan Society of Northern California
7:00-7:30 Networking


Werqwise | 149 New Montgomery Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

General Admission:
Japan Society Language Students: FREE! (Promotion code is required)

*Light food and drinks are included.
**Thank you for supporting the Japan Society by covering the program expenses.
***No Walk-ins. Advanced registration is required for building security.




Kiyomoto Ogasawara | 32nd Head of the Ogasawara-Ryu
The Ogasawara family traces its origins to the founder, Ogasawara Nagakiyo of the Seiwa Genji Clan, the same family line as the Ashikaga and Tokugawa Clans who became the ruling families of the Muromachi Shogunate (1336-1573) and Edo Shogunate (1603-1868). Nagakiyo became the instructor of Kyū-hō (the arts of etiquette, archery and Yabusame) to Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate and ruler of Japan from 1192 to 1199.

The role of instructor of Kyū-hō for the shoguns’ families, the rulers of samurai society, has been passed down for generations in the Ogasawara family. When samurai society came to an end due to the Meiji Restoration at the end of the 19th century, the Ogasawara-Ryu School opened its doors to the general public.

Kiyomoto Ogasawara, 32nd generation heir to the Ogasawara School, continues to share the traditions of the Ogasawara-Ryu, both in Japan and internationally, while working professionally as a PhD R&D researcher of a Pharmaceutical company in Japan.

Maria Peterson | Renshi 6th Dan, Founder of Redwood Kyudojo
Maria Peterson works as Director Innovation Strategies, JSR Life Sciences. Maria was inspired by the beauty and power of the Japanese bow and began her kyudo study in 1994 in California. In 2016 she designed and built the first kyudojo on the West Coast, Redwood Kyudojo, in La Honda, California. Maria is President of Redwood Kyudojo, also President of the Northern California Kyudo Federation (NCKF), President of the American Kyudo Renmei (AKR), and a Director of the International Kyudo Federation (IKYF). She has the rank of Renshi 6-dan (ANKF) and Sanbontou (Ogasawara Ryu). Together with Tim, she leads regular kyudo sessions at Redwood Kyudojo for a growing group of students.


Tim Macmillan | Renshi 5th Dan 
Tim Macmillan began his kyudo study in the UK and was invited to Japan to learn kyudo from Hideharu Onuma Hanshi. In 2012 Tim and Maria met through one of the joint practices of the NCKF. They were married in 2019 and continue to co-teach at Redwood Kyudojo. Tim has trained in Yabusame (horse archery) and performs at Nikko Toshogu in the Fall events. In 2021 Tim and Maria opened Ogasawara-Ryu America; Tim is Shibucho (Head) and Maria is Jimukyoku (Secretary). Tim is Renshi 5-dan (ANKF) and Nurimuchi (Ogasawara-Ryu).





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June 27
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


149 New Montgomery
San Francisco, CA
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