The Hama Yumi is a sacred bow used in 1103 C.E. in Japan. At that time, the Imperial Palace was taken over by an evildemon, which caused the Emperor to fall ill. Priests tried to destroy the demon, but failed. Finally, the archer Yorimasu Minamoto was summoned to the palace to slay the demon with his bow and arrow. The first arrow killed the demon and the bow was named a Hama Yumi — an evil-destroying bow.
Since then it has been used by both Shinto and Buddhistrituals to purify. Smaller versions are placed in shrine and at home for protection against evil forces and are thought to also bring good fortune.