English Longbow vs. Japanese Yumi | Advantages & cost explained

What are the advantages or disadvantages to English Longbow vs. Japanese Yumi?

What are the advantages or disadvantages to English Longbow vs. Japanese Yumi?

The Japanese Longbow: Yumi offers one distinct benefit apart from the English Longbow. Because of its unique shape, it can be fired from the back of a horse and may be designed to accommodate this purpose. Samurai were archers who were also skilled horsemen in the end.

English Longbow

Again the English Longbow was noted to have a few benefits over the Yumi. First, it was constructed of smaller quantities of materials. Usually, it was the sap and heartwood of the yew. If you were a professional, Ox horn was used on the nocks and excellent polish and stain on the wood. The string was generally linen, treated with wax to not stretch due to moisture or use.

The draw weight was also recently found to be concerning historical finds, however. The remains of the English ship called the Mary Rose were discovered where the remaining bows, arrows, and skeletons of an entourage of elite British Longbowmen were discovered. Bows were loaded with draw weights between 150 and 200 pounds, and the average length of the draw was thirty inches. The bones on the skeletons’ shoulders and hands were bent to aid in the use of their bows.

Finally, even though the Samurai were warriors of professional rank with various weapons, The English and their English cousins were masters at the bow. A rule in England said that every man had to take bow lessons for 2 hours after the Sunday church and then get an extra heavy bow each time they had to grow their last. That led to a tradition that nurtured and trained an uncommon bowman.

What exactly is a Japanese longbow?

Yumi (Gong ) can be the Japanese word for the bow. When used in English, the term ‘yumi’ is used to refer in particular to the traditional Japanese bows. They are asymmetrical and include the daikyu (Da Gong ). The shorter Hankyu (Ban Gong ) used to practice kyudo and Kyujutsu, also known as Japanese archery. Kyudo puts as much emphasis on moral and spiritual development as it does precision and proficiency. Much like the legendary Yumi Bows from old, this bow was constructed by hand from strong bamboo (grown by the USA). Modern-day usage of Yumi Bow is known as Kyudo or “Way of the Bow.”

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Japanese LongBow

How far can Yumi take a shot?

The typical Yumi will shoot between 150 to 200 meters or 490-650 feet. Lighter arrows will bring you to the 100-meter mark. The most powerful arrows can bring you closer to 200 meters. It all depends on the type of arrow you choose to use and your experience with a bow.

What is the weight of a Yumi?

The Japanese Longbow ( Yumi) was most likely between 50 and 150 pounds. Hand-held shields were largely eliminated in the period from the Nara to the Heian period. However, huge mobile barricades were the mainstay. They were extremely devastating to the common foot soldiers, so they utilized pavises a lot.

The most widely available Japanese bows are modern Yumi, which are naturally more fragile than traditional Yumi. That has created the belief that traditional Yumi is weak.

Karl Friday, in “Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan,” says that bows dating that were used between the 10th and 12th centuries had a tendency to be “particularly weak” and could only penetrate armor up to 10 meters (~30 feet) or less. They were all laminated bows. Karl Friday may be correct. They would be they would have an average draw weight of fewer than 50 pounds. However, by the close of the 15th-century, bows had become more robust (and they were also bent from that point onwards).

Another point worth noting is that Japanese archers were longer as well as heavier European archers. Mike Loades once tested a 60 pounds European longbow against a 60-pound Japanese Yumi. They found that the Japanese arrow had more penetration, despite the poundage being the same.

Shields are only able to protect against the arrows. If you strap the shield to your arm – as older shields did – your arm will be especially vulnerable to arrows that can go through the shield. Because a shield that is strapped onto the arm also has to be placed close towards the face, then a boss-gripped shield, the face is more vulnerable. Shields can be helpful against arrows but don’t make you immune to the arrows.

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Did the Samurai use longbows?

Did the Samurai use longbows?

In the past, the importance of a samurai was judged based on his ability at yuba no Miki or the horse’s way and bow. The most skilled warrior would shoot the arrows with his Longbow when riding on a horse. In contrast to the lighter horse-archers of the steppes, The Samurai was well-armed and used horses as a mobile gun platform’. It was only during hunting that archery was carried out at a gallop. An art of combat that is performed today during festivals, under the name Yabusame.

Japanese Longbows are constructed from bamboo pieces that were wound with rattan and then lacquered. A third of its shaft released it to allow for ease while riding a horse.

Certain bows were extremely powerful, and stories are told of some of the best archers. They swung arrows through an opponent’s arm or broke the planking of a boat so that the Samurai aboard were drowned.

What’s the price of Japanese Longbows?

Japanese longbows can be priced as high as $2,000. Yumi has been in use in Japan for long periods. However, today, a hand-made bamboo bow could cost more than $2000. With a height of more than 2 meters, the bows are difficult to use. Making them is just as difficult. Kanjuro Shibata cuts raw bamboo and then inserts more than 100 wedges to create a bow. The synthetic version could cost about $400. Still, the hand-made bamboo bows are more expensive at $2000 because they’re more difficult to manufacture. However, the English Longbow costs around $300-$800, depending upon the quality.

The Japanese Longbow (Yumi) vs. English-Welch Longbow Cost and uses

The English/Welsh Longbow has constructed a variety and shot for a long time. However, it’s not as heavy as the war bows used in battles of the past 60 pounds.

The Longbow was an erect self bow that evolved to make usage of wood. The most popular was yew. However, other types of wood were also employed. They were able to be constructed quickly and, by making them taller than a man, they were quite safe, not likely to break or take many sets because they were not very stressed. There was more wood available to bend, and the length of the bow meant it could not bend too far anyplace. As the Longbow evolved into an arsenal of war, it increased its draw weight to throw extremely heavy arrows over vast distances. A lot of time practice was needed for archers to develop and maintain the required strength. Archers were, in essence, the field artillery of the day.

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Present Cost: $300-$800

The Japanese Longbow (Yumi) vs. English-Welch Longbow Cost and uses
The cost of English Longbow is around $300 – $800. The price of Japanese Longbow is around $2000

The Japanese Yumi was an altogether completely different material. It was constructed of laminated bamboo and heat-treated wood, which was a lengthy and laborious procedure. Common people did not use the Longbow–perhaps the soldiers who fought for the common people of the 14th or 15th C. however, that isn’t right–the yumi weapon was one of the Samurai or the most powerful mounted warriors. It was recurved, more than a European longbow, dragged further back and shooting larger bows. It was also symmetrical, carried with two-thirds of a bow at the top of the handle. It was shot differently than the Longbow. It was utilized differently for light cavalry instead of artillery.

Present Cost: $2000

What makes Yumi the Japanese Longbow asymmetrical?

There are a variety of theories related to the asymmetrical character of bows made of Yumi bows. I’ll list some of them:

The bow was intended to be used to kneel or when riding on horseback. The smaller lower legs were designed to give the necessary clearance. The primary material used in the Yumi bamboo is bamboo. Bamboo requires an asymmetrical layout because it is asymmetrical. The top part of the bamboo is smaller and more supple than the lower part.

Asymmetrical designs allow for longer draw lengths for more power. Kyudo archery always has the draw beyond the archer’s ears.

Although all of these theories sound plausible, I’m afraid I have to disagree with these theories. It’s the Golden Ratio – one of the more “out there” theories; this one suggests that the lower and the upper limbs were fashioned following that golden ratio (1.61) for…unknown reasons at present? I’m not convinced that the Japanese were aware of the ratio in the past. The reason I believe is different. It’s an ergonomic design.

The first reason is that it is important to note that the bow grips are an area of a vibrational mode in the bow, which is around the 1/4 or 3/4 point on the bow at the end. The grip is located at a point of 3/4 to prevent vibrations from the recoil affecting the shot. However, it’s not all there is – I think there is an additional reason for this – the angle of the grip. The design allows for a stronger grip and gives the archer greater control over the bow. And when it is combined with the kyudo technique that emphasizes control over the bow and self, this allows for more precise shots.