The most dominant weapon in early samurai history, the bow (yumi) was an unstoppable and powerful force to be reckoned with. It was literally the mark of a warrior for many centuries if you could handle a longbow well. Usually though, the bow was utilized on horseback, and this art came to be known as yabusame, “the way of the horse and the bow.”*
The actual bow made of deciduous wood, faced with bamboo, augmented with an envelopment of rattan (palm tree material) to bolster the composite bow’s strength. It was also waterproof. This weapon was very long , over two meters, and was bent in the shape of a double curve. The bowstring was usually made from a fibrous substance extracted from plants like hemp or ramie. It took a lot of training to be proficient with the longbow because of the strength needed to draw it. The bow was also laminated to ensure protection from precipitation. This weapon was very lengthy, as it was over two meters, and was bent into a double curve. The string of the bow usually comprised of fibrous substances taken from plants such as hemp and ramie. Furthermore, to be skilled with the bow required much skill because most of them took a lot of strength. In fact, the power of a student was determined by the amount of men required to string the bow. Therefore, a “3-man bow” demanded the weight of three men to bend it so it could be strung.
*Note: Yabusame was not included in the website because even though it can be considered a martial art, in most cases it is more of a public ritual