While archery was perfected in the Middle East in order to wage wars
more effectively, it gradually became an art of meditation in the Far
East. Originally, Japanese samurais were skilled archers before they
started using swords for combat and bows for spiritual progress.
Japanese bows are asymmetric with a short bottom and a considerably
longer top. Its draw length was about 40 inches. It as next to useless
in combat but it was used as an instrument of physical exercise and
meditation. Archery became a way of practising Zen and was named
Kyudo, kyu meaning bow and do meaning road.