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. In1889 the XVIII. Shibata was appointed Onyumishi or official Bowmaker to the Emperor of Japan. This title has come down through the generations. The current title holder is Kanjuro Shibata XXI.
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.