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Yanone varities and their purposes


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I recently picked up a cigar box of yanone as well as several mounted on ya and am impressed with the sheer variety of shapes and sizes, some of which I doubt the efficacy of even if they are not of the presentation type. I have not been very satisfied by the English literature I was finding online when searching for the intended purpose of each of these shapes. Honestly I am surprised by the general lack of yanone information at all. Half of the yanone types seem to be described as "armor-piercing" yet seem to make up most of the yanone from the Edo period (I am assuming Edo period, as I would be surprised if this many survived from an older period, though I admit that this may be a false assumption). I am curious if anyone has any more in depth knowledge about the intended use of the yanone I have here. Note that I believe numbers 1 and 3 may be Qing Chinese and 5 is likely some sort of Western Bodkin arrowhead. I apologize for the poor image quality, I am still waiting for them to arrive.

Yanone.JPG

Yanone2.JPG

yanone3.JPG

yanone4.JPG

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#5 Seems to be some sort of crossbow bolt?
They look ok, and some nice ones there. #1 and 2 are of the type that I am never sure if genuine or not.
I often look at the shafts. Genuine ones are often bevelled on the edges. Just a little extra touch that adds authenticity sometimes. No hard and fast rules though.

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10 hours ago, Brian said:

#5 Seems to be some sort of crossbow bolt?
They look ok, and some nice ones there. #1 and 2 are of the type that I am never sure if genuine or not.
I often look at the shafts. Genuine ones are often bevelled on the edges. Just a little extra touch that adds authenticity sometimes. No hard and fast rules though.

Just received them.

 

Ha, Brian! You were wrong about #5! It's a chopstick 🤣🤣🤣

1157891339_PXL_20210916_1825558912.thumb.jpg.5af29523a232f9fcfde2b42cd4bdaab3.jpg

On a more positive note, besides one or two more dubious examples the rest are very nice with a couple of them being signed, though I would be amazed if anyone could still make out the smith. And you were spot on about the bevelled edges.

Here's a few more pictures.

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what I thought was a cone shaped yanone is actually a very tiny chisel like tip.

572341977_PXL_20210916_1839283382.thumb.jpg.1d2a91c48f5c4008b367694f4a5e4eac.jpg

 

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I am not entirely sure what the origin of this one is but it appears to have been brazed with copper onto a new tang? Also the construction of the tip is interesting, the edges are razor sharp but the point actually thickens to almost be blunt.

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And here is one I'm slightly more dubious about, at least it appears handmade so they tried hahaha.

1164177245_PXL_20210916_1835308042.thumb.jpg.034cd799739b4a769e11eee6f2bae12f.jpg

 

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The Royal Armouries collection in Leeds UK has a crossbow with three bolts having diminutive heads like No. 11 above. The bow is made of slats of baleen fastened together to increase the draw weight. There is another crossbow in the Met. New York, formerly in the George Cameron Stone collection, and a couple in Nagoya. On the whole they seem rare in Japan in contrast to China.

Ian  Bottomley

 

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1 hour ago, IanB said:

The Royal Armouries collection in Leeds UK has a crossbow with three bolts having diminutive heads like No. 11 above. The bow is made of slats of baleen fastened together to increase the draw weight. There is another crossbow in the Met. New York, formerly in the George Cameron Stone collection, and a couple in Nagoya. On the whole they seem rare in Japan in contrast to China.

Ian  Bottomley

 

The #11 your referring to has six facets at the base with for facets at the blade. I think in the image it is actually sitting on one of the base facets, making it look very skinny. There are one or two of the mounted yanone that seem to be pretty exact matches.

 

1 hour ago, Shugyosha said:

I must admit my first thoughts on no.5 were that it’s a “mod bod”. There’s enough re-enactors and some war bow shooters in the  UK for it to be a bodkin replica. 

 

As for #5, so many bodkins look rough whether they are in the Royal Armories or on Etsy that I couldn't tell you which camp they belong in.

 

Was it common to lacquer yanone? It looks like the mounted ones may have been coated for protection, hence much of the dark finish.

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Michael,

 

Like Alice in Wonderland you have fallen down a hole that will last the rest of your life if it grabs you by the throat!!

 

I think all of your points (as I believe the Western yanone/yajiri collectors call them) are Japanese, however, No. 5 is a puzzle to me with its hollow tang.  Reminds me of a fukuro yari and I've not seen a yanone like it.

 

To reinforce my opening sentence you might like to look at this link, an Obituary I wrote for a dear friend of 50+ years who devoted his latter collecting life to yanone, even devising means of polishing them as he could not get professional togishi to even look at them, with one exception:

Best wishes,

Barry Thomas

aka BaZZa.

 

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Dear Anthony,

    Old friend ( not nearly as old as I ), ... I no longer comment, ... but I just cannot resist in this case.  It must be lucrative being a Psychiatrist.  This Japanese Art ( weaponry etc. ) is a game of the WEALTHY and NOT a serious game for the faint at heart or weak in the cash accumulation field.   I have devoted the past 24 years of my life to Medical Research ( with considerable success ... I am told ),  but I've never made a penning at it.   Damn,  I should have stayed in school !

... Anonymouse 

PS.   Beautiful collection of Yanone ! 

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