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The Yumi was an Ancient Japanese bow. It was the Long-Range weapon of the Samurai.


The Yumi is a tall, asymmetrical bow with the grip about one third the distance from the lower tip with the upper and lower curves differing in shape. The bow is traditionally made from laminated bamboo, wood, and leather. The Yumi is always supposed to be taller than the man who wields it.


  • Long range
  • 7 feet
  • 2 lbs
  • Bamboo, wood & rattan
  • Used by Samurai


The Yumi has existed in Japan since pre-history. During the 8th century the Japanese Shogunate attempted to conquer the Emishi tribes of northern Honshu. However, the Emishi used their archery to perform guerilla raids and ambushes to repel the Japanese. The Japanese adopted these bows and performed other military reforms that created the early concept of the Samurai. The length of the bow gives it great firing power, though the position of the grip may have allowed it to be fired from horseback or a kneeling position. This was the original weapon of the Samurai before the katana.

The effective range of a Yumi longbow is about 30 meters against an armored Samurai, and 140 meters against an enemy army. The bow could fire a Ya (arrow) as far as 280 meters; but was unlikely to hit anything at this distance. Smaller bows would be effective at shorter ranges. [1]

Samurai Armor is relatively lighter than European Plate Armor (most commonly associated with Knights) because the Samurai considered the use of the Yumi to be more important than having heavier armor. [2]

The Kabura-ya was a unique type of arrow used by the Japanese, known as 'whistling-bulb arrows'; which created a whistling sound due to a specially carved or perforated bulb of deer horn or wood attached to the tip. These arrows were intended to create chaos with the loud intimidating noise. However this tactic was not effective against elite armies like the Mongols, who infamously laughed at these arrows in the 1274 Mongol Invasion of Japan.

In The Show[]

In the show the Yumi was shot at two dummies from 45 feet accurately hitting them. The Samurai experts also claimed that the Samurai specialized in accurately shooting out the enemy's eyes in order to kill the targets regardless of their armor. This feat was demonstrated by shooting out dummy eyes at 25 feet.


  • Arrowheads were used as commodity money in ancient Japan.
  • Tetsuro Shigematsu shot the yumi incorrectly by placing the arrow on the left side of the bow when it's always drawn from of the thumb on the right and pulled further behind one's ear in a pencil grip. Shigematsu did not pull the string from behind his ear or placed the arrow on the right side. He instead did a 3 finger draw (used in western style archery) drawn from the side of his face and placed the arrow on the left side of the bow.