I have just been working on building a page about the Japanese Bobtail.
This cat is steeped in history going back it is said 1000 years or so when the breed was supposedly imported into Japan from China or Korea.
The fact is that nearly all cat breed histories are vague except those that have been deliberately created by man's intervention (by cross breeding).
Although some cats have been fairly recently discovered such as the Muchkin dwarf cat. The point is that a number of new breeds recently discovered have probably been around for some time in parts of the world where there is no cat fancy (cat lover associations). People in some countries would not be at all interested in a slightly strange looking cat.
Mutations that cause hairlessness, for example, have been around all over the world for many years, but it is in places like the USA where people take action on discoveries as there is ultimately a commercial gain and perhaps status to be had.
Mutations occur naturally. It is how nature evolves. Only sometimes the mutation can be a defective and not to the benefit of the cat. A shortened tail is not a benefit to the cat and may be a slight detriment as it is used for balance.
But mutations produce something new to the breed concerned and is therefore of interest to cat breeders.
The Japanese Bobtail is a healthy cat apparently. She is slighter than the other bobtailed cats namely the American Bobtail, the Pixie-Bob, the Manx and the Kurilian Bobtail. These are quite stocky cats with thick fur while the Japanese Bobtail is medium small with smooth tight fur.
The Japanese have many stories about how the breed came about. They are all fiction as this is a simple genetic mutation.
The Japanese particularly like this cat in bicolor or tricolor (calico). The cat opposite is bicolored. This coloring is caused by the white spotting gene. This gene can sometimes restrict the migration of pigmentation to the eye (just as it does for the fur). When this happens the cat may have different colored eyes, one blue (or silver as the Japanese would call it) and one yellow (the Japanese would call the color of this eye gold).
Read more about this breed - Japanese Bobtail blog to Picture of Cats website