is one of eight distinct Japanese breeds and although
fairly small, it is the largest of any of the Japanese
breeds. It was developed from a primitive animal brought
over to Japan over the Korean peninsula thousands of
years ago. They are popular for light draftwork and
as a riding mount. They are quite rare and are seldom
seen outside of Japan. The Miyako, much like the other
Japanese horses, was the primary mode of transportation.
With the advent of motor vehicles, this changed the
necessity of the Miyako. It is lucky for the breed that
it is considered a national landmark. There is a herd
of 21 animals that exist on Miyako Island and is a tourist
attraction. It is also used as an instructional tool
at the local high school. The Miyako breed has been
designated an official Prefectural Natural Treasure.
At one time this breed only stood 11 hands maximum,
but they were crossed with larger stallions in the mid
20th century to increase their size for farming purposes.
Its appearance resembles the Mongolian horse and usually
appears in bay or dun. They may exhibit primitive markings,
such as a dorsal stripe on the back or zebra stripes
on the legs.