A new hereditary disease characterised by renal failure, poor growth and long hooves in Japanese Black cattle (wagyu) has been recognised in a region of central Japan since 1990. The number of calves affected has increased gradually, with the incidence reaching 17 of 485 (3.51 per cent) in 1995. Almost all the calves were slightly undersized at birth, and repeatedly had diarrhoea during the neonatal period. They began to show signs of growth retardation with proportional body and elongation of the hooves from about two to five months of age, but they had an almost normal or only slightly decreased appetite. The concentrations of urea nitrogen, creatinine and inorganic phosphorus in serum were high, and the affected calves excreted diluted urine frequently. Among 25 cases, the urine of 21 contained occult blood, 24 contained protein and two contained glucose. In 29 calves observed for 30 to 130 days, the course of the disease varied; in 21 of them it remained unchanged, six became gradually worse and two became severely debilitated and died. The disease was diagnosed as renal tubular dysplasia by histopathological examination.