Yonaguni horse

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Country of origin Japan

The Yonaguni or Yonaguni uma (与那国馬?) is a breed of horse native to the southwest islands of Japan, specifically Yonaguni Island. It is a small breed of horse phenotype but pony height, typically 11 hands (44 inches, 112 cm). It is also very rare, with fewer than 200 individuals known to live in Japan.[1] It is one of eight horse breeds native to Japan.


The exact origins of the Yonaguni Horse are not clear. However, the horse has preserved its original and distinct form due to no cross-breeding occurring. In ancient times, the Yonaguni Horse was used in farming, agriculture and for the transportation of timber, but since the invention of modern machinery, this use was lost and thus the horse was no longer bred. This led to their numbers dropping to just 59 head in 1975. In this same year, a committee was formed for the preservation of the Yonaguni Horse. This encouraged people to begin breeding them again in the northern and Western regions of the island and thus they have increased in numbers to approximately 100-120 head. In the present day since they are not used for agriculture their main attraction is related tourism and the horses have become an emblem of the island.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Horses: Yonaguni Information and Pictures". Worldscreatures.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.