Kyudo (the Art of the Bow) is the oldest of the Japanese Martial Arts. The origin of the Bow dates back many thousands of years across the globe. In Japan, Bow artifacts dating to the Stone Age (Yayoi period) have been discovered. Hunting scenes drawn on early Bronze Age vessels, depict a long Bow with an off center grip. Furthermore, in the Chinese book Gishi-Wajin Den (record of the Wei biography of the Wajin) mentions that long Bows were used by the ancient Japanese. This description, along with what is written in the Kojiki (ancient chronicles of Japan), prove that the Bow had a significant meaning in the ancient Japanese world. It was and remains a symbol of dignity. Hence, it played an important role in Shinto and Samurai rituals in later years.
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