Japan is losing a very old practise – hunting with hawks


  • People
  • Thursday, 21 Apr 2016

Hunting eagle: Falconer Hidetoshi Matsubara feeds his bear hawk wild bird meat in the mountains above Tendo city, Yamagata prefecture, Japan. — Photos: EPA

Japan's last living traditional falconer, Hidetoshi Matsubara, has been hunting as a professional falconer for more than 40 years.

Falconry was first introduced to Japan in the fourth century from Korea.

Professional falconers hunting animals for meat and furs were common in Japan’s northern mountains before World War II but today, the lifestyle is no longer economically viable due to decline in the rabbit population because of commercial forestry.

Until recently, Matsubara lived with his wife and son on an annual income of one million yen (RM35,500). – EPA

Hunting eagle: Falconer Hidetoshi Matsubara feeds his bear hawk wild bird meat in the mountains above Tendo city, Yamagata prefecture, Japan. — Photos: EPA
Hunting eagle: Falconer Hidetoshi Matsubara feeds his bear hawk wild bird meat in the mountains above Tendo city, Yamagata prefecture, Japan.

Matsubara has been hunting with the help of his hawks for 40 years. -- EPA
Matsubara has been hunting with the help of his hawks for 40 years.

Matsubara and his bear hawk roam these mountains in search of rabbits. -- EPA
Matsubara and his bear hawk roam these mountains in search of rabbits.

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