The horse is believed to have been first domesticated in central Asia around 6,000 years ago. It is believed that horses were brought to Japan from abroad in the 5th century (during the Kofun period, around 300–538).
Horses that have existed in various parts of Japan for a long time and have not been interbred with horses from overseas are considered native Japanese horses. There are currently eight known breeds: Hokkaido, Kiso, Noma, Misaki, Taishū, Tokara, Miyako, and Yonaguni.
The extinct Oki horse was a smaller breed, with a shoulder height of 1.1–1.2 meters, and was used for both farming and transportation on the islands. It tolerated cold weather and poor diet well, and its hooves were hard. Most Oki horses had bluish, deer-colored, or chestnut-colored hair, with the occasional white or sandy-colored horse. The skeleton of the last Oki horse is now preserved at Shimane University.

  • Classification

    Family Equidae