Literally meaning "art of the bow," kyujutsu was a dominant martial art on the battlefield predating the use of firearms. The bow was used as a long range weapon to engage enemy units who were far away. On top of a horse, the power of the bow was multiplied as a result of a mobile,long-ranged, and deadly weapon was at use. The bow was also utilized in sea battles and sieges.
Despite the usual association of the sword with the samurai, the bow symbolized proffesionalism in a warrior during the majority of the Kamakura and Muromachi period (1185-1568).