If the kacchu-keiba (horse race) is analogous to the race into battle, then the shinki-sodatsusen is the battle itself. Here the riders test the skill, bravery and luck.
The battle is made up of several skirmishes. Each skirmish begins with a couple of fireworks blasted up into the sky. Each fireworks carry a banner which, after the explosion at altitude, come wafting back to earth. Any samurai who catches a banner, receives fame, glory and probably a few bit of yen.
On a technical note these images were shot with the 645Z and the smc FA 645 300mm F4 ED (IF) which is equivalent of a 240mm on a FF35mm camera. I used a monopod to give some extra stability and it gave excellent results. The speed of the autofocus was slow, but it the overall sharpness was great.