Wagyu cattle that produce this
highly prized meat were introduced
into Japan in the second century
as work animals, used in rice
cultivation. As beef consumption
became more prominent in society,
farmers began hiring workers
to massage the animals' backsides
to improve meat quality. The
mountainous topography of the
islands of Japan resulted in
small regions of isolated breeding,
yielding herds that developed
and maintained qualities in
their meat that differ significantly
from all other breeds of cattle.
Herd isolation and distinctive
feeding techniques which resulted
from the limited land availability
have led to distinguishing features
that make the meat both superior
in marbling and in the ratios
of unsaturated versus saturated
beef in Japan
beef in Japan is a registered
trademark of the Kobe beef marketing
& distribution promotion
association. It must fulfill all the following
cattle born in Hyogo Prefecture
feeding in Hyogo Prefecture
or castrated bull, to purify
at slaughterhouses in Kobe,
Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa
and Himeji in Hyo¨go Prefecture.
ratio, called BMS, of level 6 and above.
Quality Score of 4 or 5
weight of beef from one animal
is 470 kg or less.
to popular belief, the cattle
are not fed a beer, and they
are not massaged with sake.
They are fed on grain fodder
and brushed sometimes for setting
fur. The Kobe beef
marketing & distribution
promotion association plans
to make available a pamphlet
in foreign languages with details
about Kobe beef due to ambiguities
about what actually constitutes
Kobe beef, and to the fact that
many tourists who visit Japan
request information about the
melting point of fat of Kobe
beef (Tajima cattle) is lower
than common cow's fat.
massive increase in popularity
of Kobe beef in the United States
has led to the creation of "Kobe-style"
beef, taken from domestically-raised
Wagyu crossbred with Angus cattle, in order to meet
the demand. Farms in America
and Britain have attempted to
replicate the Kobe traditions,
providing their Wagyu herds
U.S meat producers claim that
any differences between their
less expensive "Kobe-style"
beef and true Kobe beef are
largely cosmetic. The
cattle are fed American and/or
British grass and grain, which
is different from the more expensive
Japanese feed. Cuts of American "Kobe-style"
beef tend to have darker meat
and a bolder flavor.