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What is Wagyu?

WAGYU - a Japanese beef cattle breed – derive from native Asian cattle. 'WAGYU' refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where 'Wa' means Japanese and 'gyu' means cow.

Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.

(Taken from - The American Wagyu Association)

This article contains a good history of Wagyu cattle in Japan, including details of which non-Japanese cattle breeds were crossed with the original, native Japanese cattle in each prefecture in Japan to create the four Wagyu “breeds” as they are known in Japan. Click link below to download the PDF.

Breeding History of Japanese Beef Cattle

(Taken from

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