Japanese Falconry 

Falconry of the Sengoku (1467-1573 A.D) and Edo (1603-1868 A.D) periods typify an age of great understanding of the elegant art of Takagari (Japanese falconry). At a time when all practices of the Samurai class were considered only extensions of their martial arts practice, falconry was seen to be a way of preparing a warrior for warfare and combat. 

The Japanese were the only eastern race to carry the falcon or hawk on the left hand (as is done in the west), with the specific reason of allowing the falconer to still be able to draw his sword, using a special drawing technique, whilst keeping the bird alighted upon the fist, in case of ambush.

Photographs Copyright to Matthew Brown and Peter Gillatt