Bow of Wood and Bamboo

Bow of Wood and Bamboo
Length 231 cm; Momoyama period, late 16th century ; Gift of the Ii Family

This bow is thought to have been used by first daimyo Ii Naomasa (1561–1602). Made of wood and bamboo, it is the thickest of the bows passed down in the Ii family, as if testifying to Naomasa’s valor as a warrior. Arrows, also preserved by the Ii family from those days, each carry an inscription in sumi ink on the shaft that reads “Ii jijū.” This suggests that the arrows and the bow were crafted after Naomasa was given the court rank of jijū (steward) in 1588.

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