A Rare Dragon Yamato Utsubo, or quiver with Ya (arrows), c. 18th century

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Item ref: 4272

  • Edo period, Japan
  • Leather, wood, lacquer (red, black, gold), bamboo
  • 98.3 cm


Private collection, France

The traditional open ebira type quiver was carried on the back with the arrowheads downwards and the arrows and flights clearly visible. The utsubo type is said to have been developed in order to conceal the number of arrows held from an enemy. They were carried on the back with the arrow flights resting on an internal bamboo raft. Lacquered examples, as opposed to leather-clad and woven rattan example.

The utsubo (quiver) of wood, lacquered in black, red, gold, and silver hiramaki-e with a three clawed dragon amid swirling clouds, the central waist portion with a band of red lacquered leather, and the removable cover at the bottom held in place by a red lacquered leather band. The quiver contains twelve bamboo ya (arrows) fletched with feathers and painted in gold lacquer.