In ancient Chinese culture, one of the most honorable ways for a person to die was to be struck down by an arrow in battle. This gave the person the air of someone who could not be defeated in one-on-one combat, so they instead had to be defeated by an archer's lucky shot. In many Chinese folktales, historical warriors and generals of Chinese history considered to be honorable and brave die from an arrow wound.

Gan Ning from the classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms died from an arrow wound in the story despite having actually died from natural causes in real life. This is, of course, because Gan Ning was thought of as a superb general and man of character.