Oh, Kurosawa. Utterly fantastic. This is why you’re my favourite.
The famous arrow scene near the end was in fact done with real arrows. That is, the arrows hitting the wooden planks were not done with special effects, but rather choreographed with archers. Mifune waves his arms to brush away the arrows sticking from the planks, indicating to them that he wanted to go in that particular direction. The real arrows were included to get Mifune’s facial expressions of real-life fear, which is exceptionally hard to imitate. Of course, the arrows that hit the Mifune character were bamboo fakes.
Throne of Blood (1957)