Kidai Shoran (detail) © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin), former collection of Hans-Joachim and Inge Küster, gift of Manfred Bohms 2002, photography: Tadao Kodaira

Since ancient times, falconry has been a favorite pastime of powerful men, who would release hawks in the countryside to capture wild birds and small animals. Two of the Tokugawa shoguns, Ieyasu and Iemitsu, were particularly fond of this sport and established falconry ranges in the outskirts of Edo. Falcons are sensitive birds and were trained with great care. As part of training the birds, falconers would walk down the bustling streets of the Nihonbashi area with hawks perched on their fists to accustom the birds to crowds.