Japanese Calendar Holidays & Festivals

Health-Sports Day  (taiiku no hi)  National Holiday


Health Sports Day (taiikunohi) (undoukai) on October 10th originally commemorated the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The Olympics, less than 20 years after the end of World War II, signaled Japan's swift restoration from the ashes and suffering harshly endured by the end of the war. 1964 saw the introduction of the first "shinkansen" (bullet trains), the color TV, and has been generally recognized as a watershed year in Japan's modern development.

Today this holiday reminds both young and old to develop a strong mind and body. Many sporting events and contests are held on this day around the country.

T.T., Oct.91 -- VOLUNTEERS NEEDED (humorous.... :-)

Attention campers! The meeting of the Near-Sighted Beer-Swilling Crossbow Wielders needs alert, inexperienced volunteers to hold small mobile targets during their mounted bucking bronco shoot-fest. Apply where you see the "Holey Fast Weight Loss Plan" sign.

Okay, okay, hold your horses. Just a little joke. They don't really need alert volunteers.

On Thursday, October 10th, at the Mizu lnari Shrinein Shinjuku-ku, there will be a Horseback Archery (Yabusame) Festival. The exhibition will feature (besides the many food stalls) several experienced mounted archers firing at a variety of targets. (it will be completely safe - especially if you're short and standing near the back.) This date is a national holiday, so plan to arrive ahead of the crowds, before noon if the weather is good. The closest subway station is Tozai Line's Waseda Station. (by Paul Abramson)


Yabusame (horseback archery) requires speed, skill horsemanship, marksmanship, and maybe a little bit of luck - as targets are fired upon from a full gallop! Horseback archery is a traditional festival event in Japan and is exhibited several times a year in annual events throughout the country. On October 10th, one such exhibition will be held in Shinjuku-ku, which is convenient for us city dwellers in Tokyo. At 2PM, at the Toyama Park (next to Ana-Hachiman Shrine) there will be a one hour Yabusame display. To get to Toyama (Koen) Park, take the Tozai Subway Line to Waseda Station. (by Paul Abramson)

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