Xiu Jian (袖箭)

Xiu Jian (袖箭, lit. 'Sleeve arrow')
Ming Chinese Sleeve Arrow
Drawing of a Xiu Jian (highlighted), from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
A Xiu Jian is a simple dart with weighted arrowhead. It is usually kept hidden inside its user's sleeve (traditional Chinese clothing has long, often broad sleeves), hence its namesake. Although Xiu Jian can be thrown like a normal throwing dart, it is usually launched directly from the sleeve (probably by flailing the arm with great force).

An uncommon weapon, Xiu Jian was used by some pragmatic Ming generals during single combat as surprise weapon. Famous Ming general Liu Ting (劉綎) was particularly fond of, and skillful with, this weapon.

Ming period Xiu Jian did not have the spring-loaded launch tube like later models.


Liu Xing Jian (流星箭, lit. 'Meteor arrow')
Ming Chinese Meteor Arrow
Drawing of a Liu Xing Jian (highlighted), from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'。
Liu Xing Jian is another type of Chinese throwing dart. It is even heavier than Xiu Jian, as its shaft is made of lead-weighted iron. Liu Xing Jian is probably too heavy to be kept inside the sleeve comfortably, and thus is a purely hand-thrown weapon.

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