Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle

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Other common names: Japanese Black Wagyu; Kobe Beef; Tajima cattle; Tajima; Tajima Wagyu: Tottori; Shimane; Okayam

The basics:
The Japanese Black Cattle is the most common breed of "Wagyu" Cattle, and accounts for more than 80% of Wagyu beef that is bred commercially. "Wagyu" refers to several breeds of cattle developed in Japan which are genetically predisposed to producing meat which has intense marbling and a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. Depending on location, there are several types of Japanese Black Cattle: Tottori; Tajima; Shimane; and Okayama. Kobe beef, considered by many to be the premier tasting beef in the world, comes from the Tajima type of Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle in Hyogo Prefecture.

According to the The History of Kobe Beef in Japan, "The four modern Japanese breeds are the result of a substantial infusion of European blood during the Meiji Era, together with a government-sponsored selection programme initiated in 1919. For several decades prior to 1910, there was a great interest in importing European breeds to cross with native cattle."

"In order to protect its domestic beef industry, the Japanese government imposed strict laws that prohibited the export of any living Japanese Wagyu cattle. However, in 1976, four Wagyu animals were imported into the U.S.: two Tottori Black Wagyu and two Kumamoto Red Wagyu bulls. Then in 1993, two male and three female Tajima cattle were imported, and 35 male and female cattle (consisting of both red and black Wagyu) were imported in 1994."

In the United States, most of the American raised Wagyu are crossbred, or "percentage" Wagyu. "Percentage Wagyu" may be F1 or first generation (50% Wagyu); F2 (75% Wagyu) and F3 (87% Wagyu). The American herd size of Fullblood Wagyu, or 100% Wagyu, is quite small compared to the Japanese or Australian herds. In the United States, the most common Wagyu cross has been to the Angus Cattle. The meat of the Angus Cattle x Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle Cross provided the balance of marbling and red meat desired by American buyers. This crossbreed has been named American Style Kobe Beef.

Appearance / health:
Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle have an appearance which is similar to Angus Cattle, except that they are horned and lighter in the rump and legs. In the U.S., most Wagyu are de-horned. Mature bulls can weigh over 2,000 pounds.


exceptiona, carcass traits


peculiar looking bulls, Yamamoto Beef Company

Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle Health Tip

Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle

From shmac84 Mar 8 2013 3:28PM


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