East Asia, Japan, Edo to Meiji period, ca. 1603 to 1912 CE. A fine gathering of five arrows with lengthy forms carved from bamboo. Each arrow has wispy feathers protruding just in front of a carved nock, and four of the arrows have blunt-tipped iron arrow heads on the opposite end. The fifth and largest arrow is covered in black lacquer (urushi), adorned with golden yellow paint near the feathered end, and features a karimata (forked) arrowhead that resembles a bifurcated swallow's tail. Karimata arrowheads like this example were quite devastating on the battlefield due to the large size of the inflicted wound, and the narrow width of the cut meant that there was a dramatically decreased chance of the wound healing. Size of largest (forked head): 37" L x 1.5" W (94 cm x 3.8 cm)
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, acquired in May 2015; (forked) ex-Fagan Arms, Clinton Township, Michigan, USA
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All arrows have fraying and wear to feathers, minor abrasions to bamboo bodies and nocks, and darkening to original colors. Light patina throughout.