WAGYU OUTSIDE OF JAPAN
A total of 167 Black Wagyu is known to have been exported.
21 calves registered from Japanese AI sires were born after the arrival of the heifers. 16 Red Wagyu/Akaushi bulls and heifers were exported and 6 registered births resulted. A total of 221 Wagyu cattle brought genetics from Japanese Black and Japanese Brown and they formed the basis of all Wagyu and Akaushi in USA, Canada and Australia. The second migration from those countries commenced globally from the late 1990s to Europe, South America then South Africa. Finally, herds have become established across the Pacific and Asia.
Four bulls were sent from Japan by Morris Whitney in 1976. Colorado University took semen collections then they were bought by Wagyu Breeders Inc. There were no Wagyu females in America so the original two Wagyu Black (Mazda from Tottori and Mt Fuji from Hyogo) and two Wagyu Red bulls (Rueshaw and Judo from Kumamoto) were joined to Angus, Holstein, Hereford and Brangus cows in Texas.
By 1991 the highest percentage Wagyu bull in the USA was 63/64 and it was estimated that there were less than 300 Wagyu crossbred females of breeding age that were 3/4 Wagyu or higher. In about 1991 the narrow genetic base was widened when semen from the fifth bull Itotani was brought to Canada by Lakeside Industries at Brooks. In the fourth generation, the American Purebred (15/16) is obtained and contains 93.75% Wagyu genetics.
The Mannett Group (later to become World Ks) imported three Black Wagyu females (Suzutani and Rikitani – both Tajima – and Okutani – 75% Tajima and 25% Shimane) and two bulls (Michifuku – 94% Tajima – and Haruki 2 – 56% Tajima and 19% Shimane) in 1993. The first Fullbloods to be born in June 1994 outside Japan were Rikihari in Canada, then Beijiro and Suzutani followed in USA. Later in the year the first live exports were transported from USA to Wally Rae in Australia.
The Mannett Group imported four black females (Okahana, Nakayuki, Kanetani and Nakagishi 5) and two black males (Kenhanafuji and Takazakura) in 1994. Calves born after arrival were Tanitsuru, Nakazakura, Kitaguni Jr and Reiko.
In this consignment were Red Wagyu imported by Dr Al and Marie Wood from selections made by Mr Yikio Kurosawatsu and Dr King in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Nine red females (Namiko, Ume, Namoi, Akiko, Haruko, Fuyuko, Dai 3 Namiaki, Dai 9 Koubai 73 and Dai 8 Marunami) and three red bulls (Shigemaru, Tamamaru and Hikari) are registered in the AWA but some reports state that only seven heifers were imported of which three were pregnant on arrival in USA. Calves born to AI (from Japanese sires Namimaru and Dai 10 Mitsumaru) were Big Al, Kaedemaru, Momigimaru, Ringo, 504 and 505. After the 180 days incubation that was required for quarantine, Namoi, Dai 3 Namiaki, Kaedemaru and Momigimaru went to Ontario in Canada. The remainder of the Red Wagyu/Akaushi herd in USA was sold to Englewood Farm in Texas. Subsequently most were transferred to Heart Brand.
Japanese Venture Partners imported three black bulls (Kikuyasu, Fukutsuru, Yasutanisakura), ten black females (Chisahime 662, Chiyofuku 992, Fukutomi 990, Kikuhana 298, Shigehime 208, Tokuhime 486, Yasufuji 1/4, Yoshifuku 2 and Yuriko 1), and two red heifers (Kunisakae and 27 Homare).
Mr Shogo Takeda exported 35 black females, many in calf, and five black bulls (Itomichi 1/2, Kikuhana, Itohana 2, Kinto and Terutani) in 1994. There are numerous females that have been registered with births during this period. Mannett imported 7 black females (Taguchi 9, Nakahana 5, Mitsutaka, Okuito 9, Hanateru 9, Rabito and Hisako) with one black bull (Yasufuku Jr) in 1997. Calves were Taguchifuku, Kotomichan and Kousyun.
Chris Walker of Westholme imported 25 black females and three black males (Hirashigetayasu, Itomoritaka and Kitateruyasu Doi) to USA from ET Japan Company in Hokkaidoo in 1997. The following year another 59 females arrived together with semen from three black bulls (Shigefuku, Dai 6 Seizan and Kitatsurukiku Doi). The bulls remained but the females were exported to Australia. This consignment was diverse with 44 Shimane and 28 Kedaka with 12 Tajima so injected milk and size with marbling. Dams which bred in Australia include: Hatsuko, Itoreiko, Kazuaki, Kitahikari 97/1, Kitakazu, Kitaokumi, Kitasakaedoi, Kitasekitori, Kitatizuru 2, Kunikiku 96, Masako, Masatoshi 2, Sakaehikari, Sekinakada 22, Sekiyuhou, Takakuni, Takashigedoi, Yamafuji, Yamaketakafuji 3 and Yuriyuhoi.
Takeda Farms imported 6 black bulls (Kikutsuru Doi, Itoshigefuji, Itoshigenami, Mitsuhikokura, Kikuterushige, Itozuru Doi). A Mishima bull (Kamui) – a native cattle breed from Mishima Island – was in this consignment. The indigenous cattle population on Mishima Island had been eliminated by Rinderpest disease in 1672. A few Japanese Black were transported over from mainland Japan to re-establish the herd, which has been in-bred for more than 25 generations. Mishima has high marbling but is smaller than the conventional Wagyu breeds of today. Kamui is registered as a Base animal (B115 with date of birth 28th August, 1991) to enable crossing with Wagyu. His progeny out of registered Fullblood dams are registered as Wagyu percentage (50% Wagyu) by the American Wagyu Association. The Takeda herd in USA was subsequently sold to Mr Gary Yamamoto in Canada.
Originating in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, this strain is renowned to produce carcasss with very high marble scores. Tajima Wagyu are characterised by smaller frames with high marbling qualities, however typically cows have lower milking and lower growth rates than other strains. Famous Tajima sires include Michifuku and Terutani.
Originating in the Shimane Prefecture of Japan, this strain is characterised by well-balanced qualities including good growth, fertility and milking rates. Dai 7 Itozakura is probably the most famous of the Shimane line. He was an outstanding sire with high marbling capabilities and excellent growth rates. His female offspring are excellent milkers.
Tottori or Kedaka
Originated in the Tottori Prefecture of Japan, this strain is characterized by larger framed cattle with good growth rates, good milk supply and overall balance. The famous Tottori bull Kedaka was born in 1959 and is considered to be one of the outstanding sires in this Tottori strain.
Kochi & Kumamoto (Red Wagyu)
Originating in the Kumamoto Plateau in Kyushu Japan, these strains were strongly influenced by the Hanwoo Korean breed and European Simmental breed. These animals are characterized by their red colour with large frame size and good milk supply. These strains still produce marbling however are generally not as highly marbled as black strains such as Tajima