Hamaya is a Japanese exorcising arrow. It is a sacred arrow with a white feather used as a special charm for good fortune. It is sold at Shinto shrines during the New Year season. Many people make the first-of-the-year visit to shrines to pray for a happy new year and a long life. They purchase the hamaya along with other talismans. The hamaya is also placed atop the roof of a house under construction. Ha-ma in Chinese characters means "to destroy the evil".