-------Stephen Selby---------

Other contact info:

Information from the proposer:

Stephen Selby,
Intellectual Property Dept., Director, HKSAR Govt.
25 floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Rd East, Hong Kong

The Asian Traditional Archery Research Network is a personal activity of Stephen Selby. The site is at

What is ATARN?

The Asian Traditional Archery Research Network provides for mutual friendly exchange and support among the different archery traditions of Asia, and to widen appreciation worldwide of the different archery traditions of Asia.

The archery traditions of Asia (for example those of Mongolia, China, Korea, Tibet and Japan) have at one time or another enjoyed cross-fertilization and exchange of techniques (albeit sometimes on the battlefield.) Now some of these great traditions have disappeared, while others flourish, but in isolation.

The archery traditions of Asia are rich in folklore, history, artistic expression, philosophy, technique, science and technology. Some, however, are in danger. In some Asian regions, the influence of western materialistic culture threatens to cause a loss of interest among potential new exponents. Sometimes, it is the craft of the bow and arrow makers which is under threat because of the dying-out of skills or the disappearance of sources of traditional materials.


The network carries out the following activities - Historical, folkloric, artistic, technical or military research on traditional Asian archery forms, with particular emphasis on


'Traditional Archery' typically describes traditions of military, hunting or target shooting with a bow or crossbow, shooting arrows, stones or other projectiles, and using implements made by traditional crafts-people, or made with a modern, industrial process, but using traditional designs.

'Archery traditions' do not necessarily correspond to sovereign state political units. Membership of the network has no political significance. 'Asia' should be interpreted in a broad sense.

Participants in the network can be proponents of a traditional archery form, or any school of it, or craftsmen, or researchers. There are no nationality, racial, age or sex limitations on participation.

How has ATARN developed?

Started in 1998, at first, ATARN had two main components:

Subsequently, several new features were added:

The most recent addition has been a bulletin-board discussion forum.

What is ATARN's cultural impact expected to be?

Asian archery is, with a small number of exceptions, an formerly important cultural tradition which is now dying. The complete decline of archery traditions in the West has been staved off by the involvement of crafts groups, historical reenactment groups and academics. We hope to achieve the same for Asian traditional archery though ATARN. ATARN exploits the speed, flexibility and inexpensive nature of the WWW to permit interchange between isolated groups of practitioners. ATARN is starting to show the following benefits:

Stephen Selby
23 April 2001



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