Falconry Demonstration at Hamarikyu Teien Gardens

The Hamarikyu Teien is one of Tokyo’s nicer parks, and has traditional Japanese street performers and displays of falconry every day. Every year at New Year’s, however, they have a bigger demonstration of falconry that is much bigger than the daily demonstration.

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Unless I’m mistaken, this is an owl rather than a hawk.

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The birds wear these hoods to keep them from getting overstimulated and getting nervous.

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Traditional falconry outfit.

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The members of the falconry club seemed like real bird lovers. They paid great attention to their hawks, and obviously took very good care of them. That’s why it was so surprising when, at the end of the demonstration, they released a pigeon and let a hawk take it down. The pigeon was not killed, but it did seem unnecessarily cruel. I quite enjoyed it up until this point, but I’m not sure I’d go again.

There’s more information about Takagiri, the Japanese art of falconry here.

The group that puts on the demonstrations, the Suwa Falconry Preservation Society has a homepage at: http://www.falconers-hermitage.com/index.html

The demonstration is held on the first weekend in January every year. Check the Japan Times Festival page for more information.

0 replies
  1. kadhine
    kadhine says:

    Wow, I love birds and when I move to Tokyo this year, I’m definitely going to see this. (Poor pigeon though )
    I love the falconer’s (is that a word?) outfit, but the hat….

    Great blog! I subscribed 😀

  2. Pavel
    Pavel says:

    It has to be like that with the hoods and etc., kadhine. This is for the birds sake. Otherwise they will start looking and chasing anything that makes them impression of prey. Can you imagine what chaos will happen ?! 🙂

    The pigeon being used is like reward from a distance. It has a choice 0 to take it (if strong enough) or not. But even loosing it this is a reward for the Bird of Prey.

    Regards,

    Pavel
    Bulgaria

  3. AvianRecon
    AvianRecon says:

    I like the older guys falconry outfit, so stylish. I bet the black probably hides the blood pretty well. I wonder how they kept that hawk (Looks like a juvenile goshawk) from getting the pidge though – hes right there! I doubt he gave it up willingly.

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