Bows [Yumi]

The Samurai bows are of impressive thickness, and they are constructed of a combination of bamboo and other woods. There are four types of bows; long bows, half bows, small bows and short bows.

The Long Bows
They are almost seven feet in length and there are two kinds. One is called "Shigetou,'' which was used by Samurais, and the other is called "Kazuyumi," which was used generally by soldiers. "Shigetou" means "coiled rattan," and this material wrapped the body of this bow. The grip of the long bow is very low position.

Two long Bows and a Mid-size Bow.
A long bow has a length of 210 cm and one of the bows shown has its top cover. The mid-size bow is 130 cm in length and is made of animal bone. These two long bows have less rattan wrapping than have stronger kinds of bows. The bow strings are set on the outer sides of the curves when the bows are bent.
The Half Bows [Hankyu]

They are five feet long and their structure is different than that of the long bows. The half bow is thinner than the long bow and its bowstring is attached to the side of the bow that is bent. The bowstring of the long bow is attached to the side opposite the bend. The grip of the half bow is located almost at the middle, a little lower than the center. It is covered by leather.

The Small Bows
It is rare and rather unique and is part of a set of eleven arrows and a bow in a case. The bow is tiny in comparison to the others, but it is not a toy because it is strongly constructed of animal bones. The arrowheads are sharp and dangerous. The advantage of this weapon is that the bowstring is always set and arrows can be shot anytime. The case usually is decorative so it might be used to decorate an alcove of a bedroom. The small bow is two feet five inches long and is called a "Rimankyu."
A Small Set of Bow and Arrows in a Wooden Box
This bow is very small and has an overall length of only 45 cm. The arrows are only 30 cm (one foot) long. They could be hidden under clothing.
Short Bows
The bow at the left is made bamboo and its wrapped with rattan; its overall length is 107 cm. The middle bow is wide and thick , and is made of animal bone. Its string is set against the curve and it is a very strong bow of 98 cm in overall length. The bow at the right is made of animal bone and its string goes with the curve as is usual for Riman-kyu. Its overall length is 62 cm (about two feet).
The effective range of these bows within which they will inflict damage upon the enemy varies considerably. The effective range of the long bow is 60 yards, of the half bow it is 30 yards, and the small bow is effective up to perhaps 12 yards.