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From the Archives: Japanese bird long on plumes

Dec. 6, 1935: Soichi Ito with an Onagadori, a Japanese long-tailed chicken, at the Olympic Hotel.
Dec. 6, 1935: Soichi Ito with an Onagadori, a Japanese long-tailed chicken, at the Olympic Hotel.
(Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

Bird fancier Solchi Ito exhibits one of his two roosters, this one having a 24-foot-long tail.

A short story in the Dec. 7, 1935, Los Angeles Times reported that, “Solchi Ito, Vancouver (B. C.) business man, brought two of his $1,000 pets to town yesterday in specially designed crates.”

According to the Times story, the birds, “lengthen their tails three or four feet a year, the age of six representing approximately the prime of life.”

“Only the males have the beautiful plumage, according to Ito, who is a guest at the Olympic Hotel with his Vancouver associate, Iwaso Nakamura. The raising of long-feathered cocks has been a Japanese hobby for 300 years.”

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