Kibasen (騎馬戦) is a traditional Japanese game played by Japanese school boys.

The basic of the game involved 4 players on each side, with 3 people (horse) carrying a rider on top. The teams would charge at each other, with the riders attempting to remove the hat (or headband) of the opposition rider and thus defeating the team.

Sometimes they would use 4 carriers instead of 3, especially for younger kids that probably need an extra person to carry the weight.

In the old days the winning criteria was to knock (or wrestle) the opposition rider to the ground. I am not sure when they changed the rules, but it’s obvious that the Japanese would want to avoid severe injuries from the game. Even with the current format, injuries and falls are sometimes inevitable.

Kibasen is often played in a large group of units (3 horses + 1 riders) on each side, as if on a battlefield. Below are some videos to give you better ideas…



Kibasen – cavalry battle



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