Asian Traditional Archery Research Network (ATARN)

A1, Cloudridge,
30, Plunkett’s Road,
The Peak,
Hong Kong.

Tel: (852) 2895-4488
Fax: (852) 2808-2887
2 January 1999

Letter from Peking (September 1998)
Letter of November 1998
Letter of December 1998
Letter #2 of December 1998

Dear Friends,

    A business trip to Europe has meant I couldn't get a letter out in January. I hope the two letters that went out in December made up for that.

    My most important news is that Dr Charles Grayson has agreed to become Hon. President of ATARN. With decades of experience and research, I hope you will agree that he is an excellent choice. Whether we do him sufficient honour by appointing him President of an 'anarchy' is another matter; but he does not seemed to have been fazed by the idea. I hear he will be on the INTERNET soon, and I hope he will soon see the ATARN pages at first hand.

    I have also been having a useful correspondence with Douglas Elmy of the Society of Archer Antiquaries. He has agreed to search out previous SAA publications to see if we can contact authors of previously published articles on Asian archery to get them re-published in ATARN. He has already given his agreement in respect of his own articles. I shall keep you informed of developments.

    My European trip gave me a little chance for some bow-hunting. Not furry animals in Europe (where bow-hunting is banned anyway), but hunting for bows in the flea markets. I picked up a nice old Kashmiri bow (approx 1850). It is a composite recurve decorated with lacquered leather and painted with flowers and patterns in shades of red and gold. Another find was an old Japanese cylindrical arrow case of lacquered, woven paper-string. It contains two arrows - one target arrow with a steel tip and one whistling arrow. The whistling arrow is in wood with eight wind-holes. Would it have been Japanese or Chinese?

    I also had the chance to inspect a laquered yumi which bore a date and reign period indicating that it was made in 1732.

    Where are your articles? I am waiting to publish! I have received manuscripts of sample chapters of two books, one on Islamic archery and one on Magyar archery. They are both excellent, and the book prospects are exciting. Add to that that I have sponsored a revision of the main previously-published work on Mongolian archery and that should be coming soon. I plan to seek distribution   by a commercial publisher, but we shall need money from a fund or foundation to pay for the production. Please let me know if you can suggest any.

    No pictures this time around; but I'll see if I can get some more material up onto ATARN this month. I'll keep you up-to date by email.

Best regards.

Yours faithfully,


(Stephen Selby)