Tora-ge (虎毛) is the Japanese term for "brindle," and is only used on Japanese breeds. The Tora-ge has a base colour marked by a different colour in stripe-like patterns. Traditional hunters (Matagi/マタギ) believed that Tora-ge Akita Inus were better suited for hunting than the other fur colours.
Tora-ge is a necessary aspect of the Kai Ken, and un-brindled Kai Kens get disqualified from the show ring.
Variations of Tora-ge in Japanese Breeds:
- Chutora-ge : The base colour is brown, with black or dark brown stripes. There can be white markings on the belly.
- Akatora-ge : The base colour is reddish brown, with dark brown stripes.
- Kurotora-ge : The base colour is black, with brown stripes.
- Shirotora-ge : A fur colour found in Ryukyus. The base colour is white. The stripes are often brown or black.
Trivia: At their very first appearance, the Kai Brothers' names had "ge" at the end of their names, but in later chapters, they were never mentioned by their fur colours.