Seattle-based multimedia journalist Steve Shelton has covered stories in the US, Middle East, Balkans, Central America and Sudan for a wide variety of news publications as well as nonprofits and commercial clients.
For more than 1,000 years, falconry—hunting with birds of prey—symbolized power for the emperor and, later, the elite samurai. The most highly trained keepers of the tradition were based in the mountains west of Tokyo, where late last year the 18th generational head of what is today called the Suwa Falconry Preservation Society received her title, prepared to teach a new generation devoted to Japan’s place in global falconry culture.
He considers himself Japan's last traditional falconer. Hidetoshi Matsubara, 66, of Tamugimata village, some 320 kilometers north of Tokyo, has been living and hunting with his eagles for the past 40 years.