Six-panel folding screen, ink on paper; height 153.4 cm, total width 358.8 cm; Momoyama period, 16th century; Gift of the Ii Family

Hawks are depicted in many paintings as representations of the dauntless courage of the warriors admired during the long period dominated by warlord rivalries (1467–1568) and up to the end of the Edo period. This work captures the tense moment when a hawk snatches a crane. Another bird, watching closely from a pine branch at upper right, adds to the tension. Trained hawks were much prized among the daimyo and the shoguns, and were used not only in hunting fowl but as gifts exchanged among daimyo or between the shoguns and daimyo. The Hikone daimyo engaged in hawk hunting both on land and from boats on Lake Biwa.

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