Yanone / Yajiri are samurai arrowhead commonly known as “yanone” but also as “yajiri“. The yanone samurai arrowheads were made in all different shapes, sizes, lengths and designs. Some used for war, hunting, target practice, ceremonial and prized gifts to be proudly displayed by the Samurai or Daimyo. The weapon of choice for samurai has always been the Yumi bow. Archery from horse back or on ground, the bow was an essential part of samurai warfare and culture. This culture continues today through the practice of Koshiya Kumiyumi or “battlefield archery”. Even more so popular is Kyudo (Way of the Bow) which was formed during the relatively peaceful Edo era. Kyudo is now known as a “modern” Japanese archery.
As mentioned the yanone varied greatly depending on their intended use. Examples of these special purposes could be piercing heavily armored samurai, their horse, lightly armored ashigaru foot soldier or the neck of a water bird. These designs would often be combined so they can effectively serve multiple purposes. For example a “togari” resembled tip of a lance meant for piercing armor. A “wata kuri” resembled the barb on a fishing spear, meant for piercing the flesh and locking itself inside its victim. This was known as the “stomach ripper”, for when it was pulled from the wound. The two designs would be combined to make an arrowhead for piercing through armor and locking itself into its victim. A togari would also be combined with a “torijita” (bird’s tongue), making a narrow tip to better pierce through armor and kusari (Chain Mail). These arrowheads would be fitted on a bamboo shaft then fletched with the feathers of large birds of prey (hawks, eagles, etc) to make a beautiful and deadly ya (samurai arrow). The lengths of the ya would typically be between 90 and 104 cm.
There have been many display quality yanone made over the years but very few are traditionally crafted and/or functional. Iron Mountain Armory has researched and worked closely with professional blade smiths for over 1 year to learn the secrets to properly craft a yajiri worthy for a samurai. We give you the same honor a Daimyo or elite samurai would have, by handcraft each yanone to your specifications at the time of your order. We always aim to meet or exceed our clients expectations. The result is the most historically accurate, traditional crafted, fully functional (target, hunting or display) and economical yanone in the world, crafted just for you.
Yanone Options – Some Samurai Arrowhead Types
- Togari-Ya (Pointed), like a small yari (spear), these arrowheads were mainly used for war, specifically for piercing armor. This arrowhead would be in the quiver of every samurai.
- Watakushi (Flesh Terror / Barbed) are more ornamental in design and are used in both combat and ceremonies, often used by samurai of higher rank. These arrowheads are less capable of penetrating armor but more capable of inflicting terrible wounds. They vary in length, from 1 to 8 inches and could have “saw-cut” patterns, the most common being Inome (boar’s eye).
- Yanagi-Ba (Willow Leaf) can be simple or elaborate with “saw-cut” shapes or designs, such as Sakura (cherry blossom), Inome (heart shape or boars eye), Mon patterns (family crests), dragons and other geometrical patterns. These were typically more ornamental, used in ceremonies and given as gifts or offerings to temples. These arrowheads usually have a mei (signature) on below the blade or on the tang.
- Karimata (“Rope Cutter” / Bifurcated / Two Pointed) are quite unique in design and used for both battle and hunting. They were made in many shapes and sizes. Commonly referred to as “rope cutters”, used to cut the sales from enemy ships, it is debatable if they were ever used in that effect. In combat they were likely used to disable the legs of horses. For hunting they were used to decapitate the heads of birds.
- Tagone-Ya (Chisel) was shaped like a chisel. It’s main purpose was for use in siege and just causing massive amounts of collateral damage. It is said that it can easily slice into the kabuto (helmet) of a samurai.
- Kaburi-Ya (Whistling Arrow) is another unique design used in both combat and hunting. Carved from wood, horn or bone in the shape of a turnip with “flutes” carved into them. The purpose of this arrow-head is to make a whistling sound for either signaling troops, striking fear into the enemy (hundreds fired at once) or making a waterfowl to freeze while the arrow (topped with a karimata) decapitates its head.
If you would like something more custom, please email us with your design request for a custom quote.
We offer many options to accommodate the needs of all of our clients. If you need a custom crafted yajiri (traditional Japanese arrow-head) or ya (traditional samurai arrow) or have any questions about the items, options or details, please Contact Us via our online form or by clicking the “Contact Detail” box in the top right hand corner of this page to reveal our phone number and email address.
- Traditional Design & Handcrafting
- Museum Quality
- Fully Functional
- Custom Crafting
Our traditional yajiri are handcrafted at the time of your order by Iron Mountain Armory. Please allow at least 1 to 2 months for crafting. Please note that these are fully functional arrowheads which can displayed or mounted for use. It is clients responsibility to check all local and government laws before ordering. Iron Mountain Armory takes no responsibilities for any custom, legal or other issues with the purchase or use of this product. All items are handmade from natural materials and may vary in size, look and other details.