Japan’s last living traditional falconer, Hidetoshi Matsubara, has been hunting as a professional falconer for more than 40 years.

Falconry was first introduced to Japan in the fourth century from Korea.

Professional falconers hunting animals for meat and furs were common in Japan’s northern mountains before World War II but today, the lifestyle is no longer economically viable due to decline in the rabbit population because of commercial forestry.

Until recently, Matsubara lived with his wife and son on an annual income of one million yen (RM35,500). – EPA

Hunting eagle: Falconer Hidetoshi Matsubara feeds his bear hawk wild bird meat in the mountains above Tendo city, Yamagata prefecture, Japan. — Photos: EPA

Hunting eagle: Falconer Hidetoshi Matsubara feeds his bear hawk wild bird meat in the mountains above Tendo city, Yamagata prefecture, Japan.

Matsubara has been hunting with the help of his hawks for 40 years. -- EPA

Matsubara has been hunting with the help of his hawks for 40 years.

Matsubara and his bear hawk roam these mountains in search of rabbits. -- EPA

Matsubara and his bear hawk roam these mountains in search of rabbits.