Since the 16th century when the first Shibata Kanjuro moved to the city of Kyoto, the Shibata family has maintained an unbroken lineage as master archers and bow makers for the Shogunate and daimyo families.
The first Kanjuro Shibata, Munekazu Shibata, lived in the 16th century on the island of Tanegashima south of Kyushu and he served as bow maker for the Shimazu-Clan. About 1570 the
Shibata family moved to Kyoto and started to build bows on behalf of the Tokugawa Shoguns. The Shogun conferred the title "Onyumishi" (royal bow manufacturer and archer) on the respective head of the
In 1877 the XVIII. Shibata was appointed the official bow maker of the Tenno, the Japanese emperor. To his duties belonged the production of the Goshimpo-yumi, which are needed for the consecration of the Ise shrine every 20 years. In 1883 the Shibata family founded their own Dojo in Kyoto – the Taiyusha Dojo – which existed for more than 100 years.
The Official Bowmaker’s duties included creating the Goshinpo Yumi, or sacred bows, used in the purification and consecration of the shrine at Ise, the principal temple of the Shinto religion, at ceremonies held every twenty years.