I have been studying the art of falconry while researching my Renaissance-era book. There are scores of paintings, tapestries and etchings from the period of nobles hawking for pleasure, and posing with trained birds for portrait. Not a lot of what I’ve seen so far deals specifically with raptor training, however.
So I was fascinated to come upon this story from AramCoWorld about just that — the medieval method of falconry and its national origins in Japan. The Suwa school outside Tokyo is one of the oldest, tracing its masters back to the time of the Samuri. These experts suggest that the first falconers were likely nomadic hunters, the Monguls, perhaps, who learned from observation the benefits of borrowing skills of raptors that hunt from the air.
There are some key terms to the sport of falconry. Do you know why a falconer ‘hoods’ a raptor? Or what arm wears the gauntlet? How about the ‘preen gland’? Got a person you suspect has one of those….? To find the answers, here’s a site for a LOT of falconry terms: