The history of Japanese falconry

It is said that hunting with hawks originated among nomads
in the middle of Asia.

According to the Japanese ancient documents,
the tradition was introduced into Japan in the 4th century.
And it seems to have widely spread throughout Japan
in the 7th or 8th century,
for there are some traditional Japanese poems about it.

Afterwards, it became a pleasure for nobles and warriors.
Sometimes it was shown as an official event.

Hunting with hawks had been very popular in Japan
until the 19th century.
But it gradually declined as shotguns spread.

On the other hand, there is another history
in the mountains of the northeastern district of Japan.

There had been hunting people in the mountains
who chased game with hawks until recently.
They ate the meat or sold the fur to live.

Their hunting was practiced only in winter
when the mountains got snow.
The game had no place to hide in the mountains
when the trees were covered with snow.

And the hunter could walk any place there was no path.
Kumataka (hawk eagle), the biggest kind of hawk, was their partner.
Kumataka caught wild rabbits mainly, but occasionally
attacked foxes or raccoon dogs.

Mr.Matsubara is the last man who inherits their
skills and cultural legacies.

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