Nankins, or common yellow bantams, were among the first varieties of bantams introduced into this country. The variety came originally from Java and some parts of India. Once, they were the most widespread of all bantams and are believed to be the progenitors of nearly all buff bantam varieties. The name is thought to have been given from the resemblance of the colour to nankeen cloth. Nankins are excellent layers and the most tameable and engaging of breeds.
Developed in the Kochi Prefecture on the southern Japanese island of Shikoku in the mid-nineteenth century from crosses (details unknown) between long tailed breeds and small bantams such as Japanese (Chabo) or others of roughly Pekin type. They are a short legged bantam with a rounded body, old cocks having extraordinary long tail feathers which drag along the ground. Their name translates: 0=small, hiki=dragging. Not bred in the UK until the 1990s.