In Japan many peculiar native chicken breeds are kept, and among them seventeen chicken breeds are assigned as natural monuments of Japan. Nine typical breeds are introduced in this homepage and trace the history of formation of these breeds. Almost of them originated from exotic breeds which were imported from ancient China and the south-east of Asia several hundreds or thousands years ago. Since then, they have been genetically improved for various purposes, such as companion animals, time keepers, fighting games and meat production.
All the photographs in this page are provided by Prof. Masaoki Tsudzuki, Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University.
Tosa-no-Onagadori (Japanese long tail fowl)
They have the longest tail feathers among all breeds of chicken. The tail feathers of males continue to grow without molting, the length of those is sometimes more than 10 m. Most of Tosa-no-Onagadori are raised in the Kochi Prefecture. BW: 1,800 g in males and 1,400 g in females.
They were originally one of the breeds used for cockfighting, and were also used to establish other Japanese native breeds. At present, they are not raised for cockfighting but for their the beautiful appearance. Many of Shokoku are kept in Mie and Kyoto Prefectures. BW: 2,000 g in males and 1,600 g in females.
They are thought to be based on crossbredstock between Shokoku and Oh-Shamo. Many of them are kept in Aichi and Shizuoka Prefectures. BW: 2,500 g in males and 1,800 g in females.
They may have originated from the crossbreeding of Shokoku and China-derived “Dai-Tomaru”. They are characterized by their long duration for crowing. Many of them are kept in Niigata Prefecture. BW: 3,800 g in males and 2,800 g in females.
They are one of the breeds that have the longest crowing time, and kept mainly in Aomori , Akita and Iwate Prefectures. The external appearance of this breed is somewhat similar to Oh-Shamo. BW: 4,500 g in males and 3,800 g in females.
They were originally included among fowl for cockfighting. At present, however, they are not used for cockfighting but for their beautiful plumage. Many of them are kept in Kagoshima and Miyazaki Prefectures. This breed is also thought to be based on crossbred stock between Shokoku and Oh-Shamo, as well as Minohiki. BW: 3,800 g in males and 2,800 g in females.
Oh-Shamo (Japanese large game)
Original birds of this breed were introduced from Thailand during the Edo-Period. They were used for cockfighting. Moreover, breed has been used to establish new meat-type commercial chickens because they have good meat quality. BW: 5,600 g in males and 4,900 g in females.
They are characterized by dense black feathers over the body and blackish red skin on the comb, face, and wattle. Many of them are kept in Yamaguchi and Shimane Prefectures. BW: 2,800 g in males and 1,800 g in females.
They are characterized by upright tail feathers and short legs. BW: 700 g in males and 600 g in females.