Japanese falconry, illustrated

[Falconry manuscript - Japan]. [Takazukasa].

[Kanazawa?, 18th century].

4to (172 x 233 mm). Japanese illustrated manuscript, ink and colours on Japanese paper. 27 leaves. With numerous illustrations of several types of prey, including a number of water fowl and game birds together with several images of the goshawk and fine details of a number of feathers. Stitched as issued in the original blue wrappers with hand-lettered paper label on one cover. Stored in a custom-made green morocco-backed clamshell box, spine lettered "Takazukasa" in gilt.


A highly attractive illustrated Japanese work on falconry (Takagari), probably copied from an earlier manuscript as part of the education of aspiring falconers. "Falconry is first documented in the Nihon shoki (Japan's official chronicle, compiled in 720), where it is said to have been introduced by a Korean courtier in 359 AD. Falconry appears in many literary works, beginning with the Manyoshu poetry anthology of the 8th century, and was practiced by the ruling elites until the end of the 19th century. Emperors, nobles and members of the Samurai class retained falconers; ceremonial and technical aspects of falconry were developed. Several families established their own schools of falconry around the 14th century, and the teachings of those schools were transmitted through generations" (Harvard exhibition, online).

The short treatise is adorned with numerous appealing illustrations done in pen and ink, including instructions on the construction of stands, and with several images of the goshawk, fine details of a number of feathers, and illustrations of several types of prey, including a number of water fowl and game birds.

Covers rubbed and worn along margins, a dampstain affecting upper corner throughout. A number of worm-trails throughout, the most prominent affecting the outer margins of the upper cover and the first 16 leaves, with some loss of text and image. Spine slightly faded.

Provenance: from the collection of the Swedish artist and author Gunnar Brusewitz (1924-2004) with his bookplate on the inside cover of the box. Brusewitz was much interested in nature and wildlife, and his large library, assembled over more than 60 years, reflected this interest, as well as his fascination with the history of hunting.

Stock Code: BN#60738 Tags: , , , ,