From carrier pigeons to messages in bottles, there’s something uniquely appealing about using the forces of nature to carry a passage of prose between two human beings. With Japan’s long history of archery, messages once travelled through the air in the form of yabumi (lit. arrow text), a folded letter attached to an arrow that acted as a speedy delivery service between individuals or warring clans.

Sadly, the culture of yabumi dwindled and gradually disappeared as we moved slowly towards the world of much less dangerous (though sometimes just as impactful) emails and instant messaging. One traditional artisan is keeping the culture alive though, with a new letter set that contains everything you need to create your own yabumi, this time with adorable, user-friendly arrows.

The gorgeous letter set comes from a third-generation craftsman of traditional doll implements who lives in Iwatsuki-ku, Saitama Prefecture, an area that has been producing Japanese dolls since the Edo period (1603-1868).


This experience in miniature sword and weapon design lends itself to a sense of quiet sophistication in the simple, sleek yabumi letter set. Simply write your message on the paper provided, then fold it into thin, accordion-style folds.


▼ Then tie the long, thin strip around the shaft of the arrow, just as you would tie a fortune to a tree branch at a shinto shrine.


What makes this unique letter set extra special is the tiny, strong magnet at the tip of the arrow, which makes it appear as if it’s been shot into the wall.

▼ Or into your front letterbox at home!

To check out all the cute details, take a look at the video below.

The arrow letter sets are available online for 777 yen (US$6.47) each or 1,890 yen ($15.74) for a pack of three. If you’re looking for an alternative to the souvenir magnet, these will look beautiful on your fridge back home!


Source: Japaaan
Top Image: Nezumia
Insert Images: Nezumia