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While 深い (ふかい) means "profound; deep; dense", 箆 (へら, の), as a noun, means "spatula; arrow shaft" in japanese and, originally, "fine-toothed comb" in chinese.

This word is used adverbially in this sentence:

箆深く射された矢がなかった。

箆深く could mean something like "deep as an arrow" or "arrow-like deep", but would it not be redundant if it appears before 矢?

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「箆深{のぶか}く射{さ}された矢{や}がなかった。」

「箆{の}」, in this context, means a "bamboo arrow shaft". There is indeed a 「竹」 ("bamboo") radical used at the top of the kanji.

「箆深{のぶか}し」 is an adjective which 大辞林 defines as:

矢が根元{ねもと}まで深くささっている。

"(of an arrow) stuck through (an object)"

「箆深く」 is the 連用形 of 「箆深し」 functioning adverbially. 

The arrow was not there to see.

箆深く could mean something like "deep as an arrow" or "arrow-like deep", but would it not be redundant if it appears before 矢?

I personally see no redundancy here as 「矢」 does not appear directly in the adjective 「箆深く」. 

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  • So, could I render this sentence just as "there was no arrow that deeply shined" or should "deeply" have another meaning?
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 1:49
  • @Daniel Does it really say 射された rather than 刺された. Is this another of this author's weirdnesses? Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 8:19
  • Yep, it says so. The book is from 1949, so maybe it wasn't that weird in modern literary japanese.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 16:51

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