Pit with about ten long blue-green rusty metal sticks arranged parallel to each other and six bells.
Bronze hoko spears and dōtaku ritual bells excavated at the Kōjindani Site (ja:荒神谷遺跡) in Hikawa, Shimane

Hoko yari is an ancient form of Japanese spear or yari said to be based on a Chinese spear.[1] The hoko yari came into use sometime between the Yayoi period and the Heian period,[2] possibly during the Nara period in the 8th century AD.[3]

Appearance and use

The hoko yari was thought to be a guard's spear used in the defense of palisades and gates. One source describes hoko yari as being mounted on a two meter pole and with an 20 cm blade, either in a leaf shape or with a wavy edge similar to the Malay kris. Like the later-period fukuro yari, the metal blade had a hollow socket for the pole to fit into, rather than a long tang.[4] Hoko yari could also have a sickle-shaped horn projecting out and slightly forward on one or both sides of the blade, indicating that this weapon was primarily used to thrust back an enemy.[1]


  1. ^ a b Japan and China: Japan, its history, arts, and literature, Frank Brinkley, T. C. & E. C. Jack, 1903 p.156
  2. ^ Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan Warfare and History Samurai Warfare & the State in Early Medieval Japan, Karl Friday Psychology Press, 2004 ISBN 0-415-32962-0, ISBN 978-0-415-32962-0 P.85
  3. ^ The Japanese swordVolume 12 of Japanese arts library, Author Kanzan Satō, Photographs by Joe Earle, Translated by Joe Earle, Contributor Joe Earle, Edition illustrated, Publisher Kodansha International, 1983, ISBN 0-87011-562-6, ISBN 978-0-87011-562-2 P.63
  4. ^ Modern Japanese swords and swordsmiths: from 1868 to the present, Leon Kapp, Hiroko Kapp, Yoshindo Yoshihara, Kodansha International, 2002 p.18

See also