Tokara horse

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In Ibusuki, Kagoshima Tokara Pony Tu Ge La Ma (tokarauma).jpg
In Ibusuki, Kagoshima
Tokara horses grazing in a pasture Tokara-Uma which eat a pasture.jpg
Tokara horses grazing in a pasture

The Tokara (吐噶喇馬, Tokara-uma) (also known as the Kagoshima horse) is a Japanese horse native to the Tokara Islands, a group of islands in Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu. Its height is about 100 to 120 centimetres (10 to 12 hands ). Its coat color is predominantly seal brown. The Tokara has a good tolerance for heat and is used for agriculture, riding and sugar cane processing.

Contents

History

In 1952 the horses were discovered on Takarajima by Shigeyuki Hayashida, a professor of Kagoshima University, and designated the Tokara horse. It was theorized that the horses were brought to Takarajima from Kikaijima around 1900. In 1953, the Tokara horse was designated a natural monument of Kagoshima. When Professor Hayashida first discovered the horses, he counted 43. Their numbers gradually declined during the 1960s because of agricultural mechanization, however, and it was difficult to monitor the population on Takarajima. Therefore, some of the horses were transferred to the Mt. Kaimon Natural Park and Iriki Farm, part of the agricultural department of Kagoshima University.

Endangered population

By 1974, there was only a single Tokara horse remaining on the Tokara Islands. This horse was transferred to Nakanoshima on the Tokaras, and was bred with Tokara horses which were reintroduced from the mainland. Currently, about ten Tokara horses are kept at Nakanoshima. A breeding farm is located at Takao, at the center of one of the islands. The horse population at Nakanoshima and on the mainland is increasing, and there is currently a total of 107 Tokara horses. Tokara-Penn’s three mares are on display at the Hirakawa Zoo in Kagoshima. Due to its small stature, [1] the Tokara horse is no longer in demand as a plow horse on the Tokaras or the mainland and has limited utility as a riding horse; therefore, finding a practical use for the Tokara horse is a problem which will affect its future protection.

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Toshima, Kagoshima Village in Kyushu, Japan

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Ryukyu Islands Chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan

The Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

Takarajima Island within Ryukyu Islands

Takarajima (宝島), literally "treasure island", is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island, 7.14 km² in area, has a population of 116 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport; there is regular ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland of Kyushu. Travel time is about 13 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing and seasonal tourism.

Tokara Islands Island group within Ryukyu Islands

The Tokara Islands is an archipelago in the Nansei Islands, and are part of the Satsunan Islands, which is in turn part of the Ryukyu Archipelago. The 150 kilometres (81 nmi) chain consists of twelve small islands located between Yakushima and Amami-Oshima. The islands have a total area of 101.35 square kilometres (39.13 sq mi). Administratively, the whole group belongs to Toshima Village, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Only seven of the islands are permanently inhabited. The islands, especially Takarajima, are home to the Tokara Pony.

Iōjima (Kagoshima) Island within Ryukyu Islands

Iōjima (硫黄島), also known as Satsuma Iōjima (薩摩硫黄島) or Tokara Iōjima (吐噶喇硫黄島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Along with Takeshima and Kuroshima, it makes up the three-island village of Mishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 11.65 km² in area, has a population of 142 persons.

Suwanosejima Island within Ryukyu Islands

Suwanosejima (諏訪之瀬島) is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island covers 27.66 km² in area and has a population of 48 people. Although the island has an airport, there are no regularly scheduled services, and access is normally by ferry to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. The island is about nine hours by boat from the mainland. The islanders are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism.

Akusekijima Island within Ryukyu Islands

Akusekijima (悪石島), is one of the Tokara Islands, a sub-group of the Satsunan Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 7.42 km² in area, has a population of 59 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport; there is a ferry service twice per week to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 11 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing and seasonal tourism.

Yokoate-jima

Yokoate-jima (横当島) is an uninhabited volcanic island located in the Tokara Islands, part of the Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Nakanoshima (Kagoshima) Island within Ryukyu Islands

Nakanoshima (中之島), is a volcanic island located in the Tokara Islands, part of the Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It is the largest and most populous island of the islands in Toshima village. The island, 34.47 km² in area, had 167 inhabitants as of 2005. The island has no airport, and access is normally by ferry to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland, seven hours away. The islanders are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism. The island's attractions include hot springs, a lighthouse, an observatory and a museum of local history and folklore.

Otake (Nakanoshima)

Otake is a stratovolcano in the Tokara Islands of Japan. It is the largest mountain on Nakanoshima, which is part of the village of Toshima in Kagoshima District of Kagoshima Prefecture. Being the largest mountain on a small island, it is also referred to as Nakanoshima. It is also called "Tokara Fuji" from its shape.

Kuchinoshima Island within Ryukyu Islands

Kuchinoshima (口之島), literally "mouth island", is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island, 13.33 km2 (5.15 sq mi) in area, and has a population of 140 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport, there are regular ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 6 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism. The island is home to the rare Kuchinoshima breed of Japanese native cattle.

Kodakarajima Island within Ryukyu Islands

Kodakarajima (小宝島), literally "small treasure island", is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island, 1.0 km² in area, is the smallest inhabited island in the archipelago, and has a population of 49 people. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport; there is regular ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 13 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing and seasonal tourism.

Tairajima Island within Ryukyu Islands

Tairajima (平島), is one of the Tokara Islands, a sub-group of the Satsunan Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 2.08 km² in area, has a population of 89 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport; there is a ferry service twice per week to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland and Naze in Amami Oshima. Travel time is about 9 hours to Kagoshima and 6 to Amami Oshima. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing, seasonal tourism, and agriculture.

Gajajima Island within Ryukyu Islands

Gajajima (臥蛇島), is an abandoned island in the Tokara Islands, a sub-group of the Satsunan Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island has an area of 4.07 km2 in area and was inhabited to 1970.

Kuroshima (Kagoshima) Island within Ryukyu Islands

Kuroshima (黒島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 15.37 km² in area, has a population of 199 persons. The island can only be reached by ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland, as there is no airport. Travel time is about 6 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing, agriculture and seasonal tourism.

Takeshima (Kagoshima) Island within Ryukyu Islands

Takeshima (竹島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 4.2 km² in area, has a population of 78 persons. The island can only be reached by ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland, as there is no airport. Travel time is about 3 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing, agriculture and seasonal tourism.

Kuchinoshima cattle Breed of cattle

The Kuchinoshima is a critically-endangered Japanese breed of small feral cattle. It is found only on Kuchinoshima Island, in the Tokara Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan. It is one of six native Japanese cattle breeds, and one of two small populations that have never been cross-bred with Western cattle, the other being the Mishima breed from Mishima Island north-west of Hagi, in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

References

  1. Japanese Native Horses. International Museum of the Horse. Archived 22 August 2010.