Calm, focus, natural beauty, balance, simplicity--these are just a few of the unique and extraordinary qualities that have come to represent the Land of the Rising Sun. Whether in poetry, gardening, philosophy, or the martial arts, the Japanese approach to life and art is like no other culture on Earth. And here you will find a wide range of resources to bring the Japanese way and aesthetic to your own life.



The Archery Contest from Samurai Wisdom Stories

The shooting took place in a covered galley about sixty meters long. The difficulty for the archer lay in keeping the shot tightly arced enough to avoid the thirty-three cross beams that supported the roof joists and still allow for a shot long enough to reach the target at the end of the gallery. The bow had to be a strong one, but not so strong as to exhaust the archer; for the winner was the one who was able to shoot the greatest number of arrows into the distant target. The contest lasted twenty-four hours, from sunrise until the following dawn. It was a true ordeal, an ascetic exercise comparable to the austerities practiced by Buddhist monks, such as ten thousand prostrations.

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