Royal Armouries

Japanese Spear (yari)

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Date: 1850 | Object number: XXVIL.187

blade length 138 mm
shaft length 2214 mm
hadome width 110 mm
upper arm 80 mm long
lower arm 45 mm long
scabbard length 219 mm
diameter 45 mm

Old Tower Collection

Japanese Spear (yari)

Description

日本の槍

In the middle ages, Japanese foot soldiers, both samurai and retainers (ashigaru), used a variety of spears and two-handed cutting weapons. The spears were called yari and were usually long-hafted with short heads.

The hafts were often covered with lacquer for decoration and to protect the wood. The heads had long tangs inside the haft, fixed in position by wooden pegs in the same way that sword blades were retained. Many spears were fitted with one or two additional blades, and called magari yari or jumonji yari.

During the Edo period (1603-1867) yari were still produced for ceremonial and display purposes, the shape of their scabbards having heraldic significance. However, they were still closely based on the practical weapons made for combat during previous centuries.

槍,江戸時代

This small spear of the late Edo period retains its original parrying bar (hadome) in black lacquered iron matching the other fittings.

It was used to ensnare and deflect attacking shafts or blades.

The haft is of plain red oak, and the original lacquered scabbard survives.

blade length 138 mm
shaft length 2214 mm
hadome width 110 mm
upper arm 80 mm long
lower arm 45 mm long
scabbard length 219 mm
diameter 45 mm

Old Tower Collection

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