Momote-shiki is a Shinto archery ritual held to commemorate Seijin-no-hi (Coming of Age Day) in the precincts of Meiji Shrine in Shibuya, Tokyo.
The ceremony is typically held in front of Homotudenn (treasure house).
The Momote-shiki ceremony is conducted by the Ogasawara-Ryu, one of the oldest schools of Japanese-style archery and has long been associated with martial arts training.
Before the archers begin, a Shinto priest in white shoots a Kabura-ya, a special red-colored arrow with a turnip-shaped head.
The arrow makes a whistling noise which is believed to drive away evil spirits from all four directions.
Momote means “hundred hands.” With 5 groups, ten archers at a time shoot two arrows a piece. The number of archers times the number of arrows equal 100.
The archers wear a type of kimono known as a kariginu. They also wear a hat called an eboshi, which was worn by court nobles in earlier centuries.
The traditional way of shooting the bow is very slow and meticulous. First, the archers begin by slowly uncovering their left arm and shoulder leaving them and the left side of the chest completely bare.
The bow is raised upwards and brought slowly down while the arrow is pulled back past the ear. Each archer in turn then lets the string loose to strike the target.