Cover Image

Falconry on Display

April 7, 2021 - Reading time: ~1 minute

One of the things I like most about medieval fairs is the falconry displays, which is the art of training falcons and other birds of prey for hunting. These birds are so grand and beautiful it is a pleasure to be so close to them.

At fairs, as long at they are not too small, there is usually a falconer's stall where trainers display birds, and sometimes wander around the fair grounds with one of them, making it fly over visitors, which usually causes a sensation.

I don't know why, but seeing these birds, I love it. It may be because they are always so solemn, because I find them beautiful... I do not know for certain. But sometimes I get charmed just by looking at them.

As there are several references to this art in China and Japan, from pre-Christian eras, it is believed to have its origins in Asia. Although the first graphic document in Europe is from the 5th century BC, in the old world however falconry had its time of splendor in the Middle Ages, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

I didn't know much about the origins of this activity, but it was a surprise to learn that it was practiced a lot in Japan, being among its supporting characters such as Oda Nobunaga, Ieyasu Tokugawa and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.