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Boeuf Wagyu Tajima

Discussed in our What Is Wagyu post, Wagyu is a breed of cattle which hails from Japan and is renowned for its genetic predisposition to produce intensely marbled and tender beef. This definition, however, is only scratching the surface. Within the Black Wagyu breed, there are four strains of cattle, each with its own unique characteristics and stories. After this 5 minute read, you'll be able to educate your family and friends on the finer points of this phenomenal breed.

The 4 Strains of Wagyu Cattle

Under the umbrella of the Wagyu cattle breed are four strains of Wagyu cattle:

  • Japanese Black
  • Japanese Brown
  • Japanese Shorthorn
  • Japanese Polled

Of these four strains, only Japanese Black and Japanese Brown are found outside of Japan.

Japanese Black

These entirely black cattle are the most popular breed of Wagyu. They are raised throughout Japan, accounting for over 90% of the country's cattle. Japanese Black have the strongest genetic predisposition to the quality Wagyu is renowned for - intense marbling. Within the Japanese Black Strain, there are different bloodlines, each with their own specific traits.

Tajima [Tah•ji•ma] also referred to as Tajiri

Tajima are the marbling Wagyu. Even within the Japanese Black breed, this specific bloodline is the one known best to produce the highest percentage and best quality marbling. They are generally smaller framed, have slower growth rates, and expected to yield superior meat.

Tajima originally hail from the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan and are responsible for the best beef in the world. All beef that is eligible to be certified as Kobe is pure Tajima, bred, raised, and slaughtered in the Hyogo Prefecture. Historically and today, Tajima are highly regarded for Fullblood breeding in Japan and abroad.

Understanding meat quality grades

Meat quality score ( grades 1 to 5 )

This is the overall score based on the degree or marbling, firmness and texture, color, quality, and other factors.

Yield score ( A to C )

This is classified into three grades depending on the amount or percentage of edible cuts that can be gained from a single head of cattle.