Series Japanese Natural History : Bugei (Military Arts): Falcon hunting and Inuoumono
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 16 : October 25, 2005 (Tue) - December 11, 2005 (Sun)
Among the various meanings of the word bugei, one refers to rules of warrior arts that warriors should learn. Two of these were falcon hunting and inuoumono, which were presented by warriors with strict procedure.
For centuries, falcon hunting was regarded as a symbol of political authority. During the Edo period, hunting events were important ceremonies to reinforce the relationships between shogun and daimyo. In addition, they were opportunities to tour the domain and get some physical exercise. Hunting grounds and game were items granted from the shogun to daimyo for their services. Falcon hunting is still practiced all over the world, but in what form the tradition should be maintained remains an issue.
Inuoumono is a method of military training where mounted warriors chase and shoot a dog with blunted arrows. It flourished in the Kamakura (1192-1333) through Muromachi periods (1392-1573). It gradually became ceremonial and obsolete, but the Shimazu family revived it and other daimyo began to practice it in 1622.