kyudo

Japanese artisan keeps traditional culture of yabumi alive with this adorable arrow letter set

From carrier pigeons to messages in bottles, there’s something uniquely appealing about using the forces of nature to carry a passage of prose between two human beings. With Japan’s long history of archery, messages once travelled through the air in the form of yabumi (lit. arrow text), a folded letter attached to an arrow that acted as a speedy delivery service between individuals or warring clans.

Sadly, the culture of yabumi dwindled and gradually disappeared as we moved slowly towards the world of much less dangerous (though sometimes just as impactful) emails and instant messaging. One traditional artisan is keeping the culture alive though, with a new letter set that contains everything you need to create your own yabumi, this time with adorable, user-friendly arrows.

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Japanese archery: The coolest school club ever?

Bukatsu, or club activities, are a big part of school life in Japan. In the majority of schools, all kids are required to become a member of a club, be it track and field, judo, or even computer club, and have to attend every session regardless of the time of year and the weather (yes, athletics club kids jog up and down the hallways when it’s raining heavily). Naturally, there are distinct levels of coolness that students are more than aware of when they sign up, with clubs like baseball generally considered to be for the jocks, and soccer-bu for those who want to look good while sharpening their shooting skills.

Japanese archery, or kyūdō to use its native moniker, may not be considered the coolest club to belong to by kids in Japan, but as this video from Japanese culture blogger Danny Choo shows, as far as non-Japanese are concerned, it’s pretty epic, and if we were somehow reincarnated as a Japanese high schooler it’s definitely the club we’d sign up for.

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