The practice of traditional Japanese archery is known as Kyudo, which is based on kyujutsu. Archery has been practiced in Japan since pre-historical times and the first pictorial representations of the asymmetrical bow used by the ancient Japanese (known as the Yumi) are from the Yayoi period which is dated to roughly 300 BC- 300 AD.
During the rise of the military class (samurai) in medieval Japan, there was a strong demand for skills in archery. In fact, although the samurai are most famous for their skill and use of the blade (Katana, Wakizashi), the early samurai were, in fact, were horse archers. The practice of mounted archery is known as yabusame in Japanese.