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Animals and Wildlife of Japan

This is a new and very interesting topic to me. Japan is like Australia, an island(rocket science, eh). So it has unusual and unique animals as well. Unlike Australia, it's animals are virtually unknown to even the Japanese. Talking with National Geogrpahic, they said they would are very interested in photos and information on many of Japan's animals. If you have pictures and or know resources about the animals of Japan, please let me know. You can get more information at my blog . Thanks, Bryan

Bryan Hays Photography

Misaki Pony(御崎馬/岬馬, Misaki uma)

The Misaki Pony(御崎馬/岬馬, Misaki uma) is a breed of pony that is native to Japan. Like other native horses of Japan, it is believed to have developed from horses brought to Japan from China, with the earliest imports dating back at least 2,000 years.

The breed was first identified in the historical record in 1697 when the Akizuki family of the Takanabe Clan rounded up feral horses and developed a pool of breeding stock. Today, the Misaki is classified as an endangered but "maintained" breed, with only about 100 living animals. This population has remained relatively stable for the past 20 years, up from a low of 53 individuals recorded in 1973.

The Misaki is one of eight breeds considered native to Japan, and lives as a feral horse in a natural setting in a designated National Monument on Cape Toi (also known as Toimisaki) that is located within the municipal boundaries of Kushima at the south end of Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū. The Misaki ponies are a popular draw for tourists in the region and were designated a National Natural Treasure following the end of World War II.


The Misaki is of pony height, and stands between 12.2 and 13.2 hands high at the withers. However it has horse characteristics and proportions. Most individuals are colored bay or black, with the occasional chestnut. White markings are rare.

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Uploaded: June 10, 2009