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Home > Articles > Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society > The Japanese Yano Ne > Part 8
The Japanese Yano Ne
Part 8 of 10

(61) Kaburaya (chief arrow, turnip-shape). (62) Kikiyo mata (kikiyo, or Platycodon grandiflorum shape). (63) Tana tenbaki nari (round camellia leaf). (64) Koto ji (bridge of the koto, or harp). (65) Tsuba me o (sparrow's tail).

The outline form of the kaburaya is also heart-shape and cherry-petal shape, as constantly occurs in pierced openings, and some Japanese connoisseurs have assured me that the turnip or the cherry-blossoms are not the basis of this common conventional motive, but that it is the ino mé, or wild boar's eye. The wild boar is the tutelar deity, the crest or totemic emblem of the warrior clan. Its peculiar eye turns not. It charges straight ahead, fearlessly, and fights without turning. In heraldry, in armour design, and sword lore, this heart-shaped form is always known as ino mé, and even the Tokugawa crest is sometimes regarded as an arrangement of ino mé, rather than of the asarum leaf. Marishiten, the deity to whom so many arrow-heads are inscribed, is always represented riding the wild boar, sword in hand, and a picture or small image of Marishiten was always kept in the armour box.


(66) Negoro ga mata (Negoro's duck-shape). (67) Kabura (chief arrow, turnip-shape). (68) Koshiu nari (Koshiu-shape). (69) Nata kure hokko (tear-flesh lance). (70) Tobu tobi (flying kite). (71) Bon-ji-wa-saski (Sanscrit writing done from point).

Yano Ne.
(Howard Mansfield Collection.)
  

Yano Ne.
(Howard Mansfield Collection.)

Most interesting in design and execution, perhaps, are those yano ne which contain characters in almost complete detachment The names of owners and deities, pet names for the arrow, and long Buddhist prayers are thus written in floating characters, as in many examples illustrated here. Of characters á jour many fine examples may be singled out in the illustrations. Some of these yano ne with Buddhist inscriptions were made for warriors to offer to a temple, trophies in honour of victories won, ex votos to the shrine of Hachiman, Ten'jin Sama or Marishiten. Some smaller yano ne with Sanscrit letters cut in the blade, or temple crests, were the actual fighting weapons of the militant monks on Mount Hiyeizan. Iyeyasu's quiver, preserved at Kunōzan, near Shidzuoka, contains twenty-five arrows, each polished point pierced a jour with a single Sanscrit character; but the large arrow, the kaburaya, is missing.

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