Kyūjutsu (弓術) (“art of archery”), is the traditional Japanese martial art of wielding a bow (yumi) as practiced by the samurai class of feudal Japan.  Although the samurai are perhaps best known for their swordsmanship with a katana (kenjutsu), kyūjutsu was actually considered a more vital skill for a significant portion of Japanese history.

During the majority of the Kamakura period through the Muromachi period (c.1185–c.1568), the bow was almost exclusively the symbol of the professional warrior, and way of life of the warrior was referred to as “the way of the horse and bow” (弓馬の道 kyūba no michi?).

The beginning of archery in Japan is, as elsewhere, pre-historical. The first images picturing the distinct Japanese asymmetrical longbow are from the Yayoi period (ca. 500 BC–300 AD). The first written document describing Japanese archery is the Chinese chronicle Weishu (dated around 297 AD), which tells how in the Japanese isles people use “a wooden bow that is short from the bottom and long from the top.”