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Plate 7
Japanese archer and bow

Mr. Ogawa in Japanese costume shooting a light bamboo bow, showing the classical attitude. The bow is held "as one holds an egg in his hand" —very lightly. The left forefinger is pointed toward the object to be hit. The arrow is held with the Mongolian release, and drawn on the right side of the bow to the point of the right shoulder. An extra shaft is held in the grasp of the little finger.

Shooting of this sort is part of the high school education in Japan. The distance ordinarily shot is about 30 yards.

This particular bow is 7 feet 4 inches long, is an inch wide and a little less than three-quarters of an inch thick. It pulls about 40 pounds and shoots a target arrow 150 yards.

The Japanese gauge the strength of their bows by the thickness. All are the width of a thumb joint, or one inch. There are three general strengths of bows. One is half an inch thick; the next is three-quarters; and the third, one inch in thickness.

Old Japanese prints and statuary show much shorter and more powerful weapons than that here illustrated.