Whistling arrow

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A 19th c. whistling arrow on display at the Tokyo National Museum
  • Japanese: 鏑矢 (kaburaya), 嚆矢 (koushi)

Whistling arrows, also known as humming-bulb arrows, or signal arrows, were specially made arrows designed so they would whistle while flying through the air. Originally used for hunting, they came in the Heian period to be used to signal the beginning of a battle.


  • Gallery label, Tokyo National Museum, August 2013.