Arrowhead (Yanone)


Not on view

Although today Japanese warriors are renowned most for their swordsmanship, archery, especially from horseback, has been an essential part of samurai warfare and culture for centuries. Arrows were fitted with heads of varying shape according to their intended use in war, the hunt, or target practice. Arrowheads made for use on the battlefield incorporated different designs intended for specialized purposes such as the piercing of armor or to cause maximum damage to horses and unarmored personnel.

Large arrowheads, pierced and elaborately chiseled with landscapes, birds, flowers, dragons, and Buddhist divinities, were created to be admired for the beauty of their metalwork and design rather than for use in archery. Such highly elaborate examples may have been made for presentation or as a votive offerings to a shrine.

Arrowhead (<i>Yanone</i>), Steel, Japanese

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