Object Image

Arrowhead (Yanonē)

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 tha...

18th century
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection