The Satsuma-dori 薩摩鶏 originates in Japan. Satsuma used to be the name of the prefecture now known as Kagoshima, in the island of Kyushu. In that time the breed was known as Ojidori (meaning large fowl) The name Satsumadori (given in the twenties) means nothing more than: Large fowl of Satsuma. In 1943 the Japanese Ministry of Culture declared the breed protected inheritance. The breeds origin comes of cross-breeding Shamo and Shokoku and was a true knife fighter. These speed fighters were the only ones to fight steel spurs. Very likely the Japanese copied fighting styles and breeding in knife spurs (slashers) of Philipinian breeders. As this breed carries a full, large, fanning tail it gained popularity (just like Sumatra and Yokohama) in Europe. Mostly Dutch and Belgian breeders imported these birds. Germany followed a little later. Today there is little breeding material to be found in The Netherlands and Belgium. It is gaining popularity in Germany and UK, where they can be seen at shows again. The gene pool that existed in Europe was originally built from 14 animals imported from Southern Japan in the seventies. However different bloodlines have been imported more recently.
Ring size rooster 20, hen 18.
The weight of the rooster lies approximately around 3,5 kg (7,7 lbs) and for a hen around 2,5 Kg (5,5 lbs) Just like Sumatra, Satsuma-dori have a small head and a pea comb. The comb should be as small as possible as they get less fast injured in battle. A large or falling aside on a show will lead to exclusion. Particular characteristic is the robust, wide stance of the legs, the long back and a full, long and fanning tail.
Most characteristics are different in many countries. Japanese don't care about variety but the shape of the body is most important, the animals need to be supple and quick. Germany has 4 varieties and the animals there are way heavier than original Japanese types. Also BB silvers are not allowed to have a dark color of the beak. Italian breeders tend more to follow the Japanese but they do care about varieties. The Netherlands haven't standardized this breed yet but hopefully they will follow the Japanese body type (as it is a Japanese breed).
The straight up-going stance comes from fighting wishes, as an animal with this stance can jump easily and hit high.
Except the blacks all varieties have yellow legs.
Varieties known are Black (Kuro), Blackbrested-Gold (Kisasa), Blackbrested-Silver (Shirosasa), Red (Akazasa) and White (Shiroiro)
British SATSUMADORI Standard
(taken from the Japanese)
Classification: Asian Hardfeather. Large Fowl.
Egg colour: White or tinted
The Satsumadori is a very stylish, flashy Japanese Gamebird developed in Kagoshima (formerly known as Satsuma) on the island of Kyushu. Bred originally for steel spur fighting, this is a powerful , agile bird, with tremendous presence.
Type and Carriage: General appearance impressive, proud and alert. Stance upright
Body: Large, firm and well-muscled.
Breast: Broad and full with deep keel.
Back: Long, broadest at shoulders, sloping down towards tail and gradually tapering from upper side of thigh. Backbone straight.
Wings: short, big, strong and bony, carried well down and close to the body, not showing on the back but with prominent shoulders.
Tail: Long, extremely full and luxuriant, carried above horizontal in an unbroken curving fan shape with the spread of feather also extending sideways at a 15 degree angle to the body. This is a very specific characteristic of the breed.
Head: Deep and broad with wattles and earlobes small or absent. Beak strong, broad and curved downwards, but not hooked. Eyes piercing. Comb triple and firm in the male, small or absent in the female.
Neck: Long, strong-boned, slightly curved but almost erect. Neck hackle rich and full.
Legs and feet: Thighs long, round and muscular. Legs medium to long – thick and strong with slight bend at hock. Shanks round. Toes four, long and well spread. Hind toe straight and firm on the ground.
Plumage: Feathers narrow and brilliant, rich at neck and tail, otherwise tightly fitting to body. There is also an old type of Satsumadori which is muffed and feather-legged, but it is no longer popular.
Handling: Extremely firm fleshed, muscular and well-balanced. Strong contraction of wings to body.
The general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for natural sexual differences.
Black/red (the red being a brilliant orange-red) / with partridge females, Silver & Gold Duckwing, Black, White.
Beak yellow. Horn colour acceptable in birds with black plumage.
Legs and feet yellow. Dark legs acceptable in birds with black plumage.
Comb, face, throat, and earlobes brilliant red.
Eyes silver or gold. Darker eyes acceptable in young birds.
Male approx 3 - 4 kg (6lb10oz - 8lb12oz)
Female approx 2.5 – 3.5 kg (5lb8oz – 7lb12oz)
Scale of points
Legs and feet 10
Serious defects: Poor tail plumage, lack of attitude, ‘Duck’ feet. Any other deformities.
- Julia Keeling