The famous worldwide brand name Wagyu of today includes not only Fullblood or Purebred Black and Red Japanese cattle produced in Japan but also crossbred Japanese Black and Red cattle produced in foreign countries such as Australia or the United States.
These cattle were originally imported in 1976 to the United States. This shipment consisted of two Tottori Black Wagyu (Mazda and Fuji) and two Kumamoto Red Wagyu bulls (Judo and Rueshaw).
In the 1990's there were several importations of superior Wagyu genetics into the United States. Most of these cattle were Black but a few were Red Wagyu. These imports have the greatest genetic influence on the U.S. national Wagyu herd and in many other herds around the world.
Akaushi, known as Red Wagyu or Japanese Brown cattle, a Bos taurus type of cattle had their origin and evolution in Kumamoto, Japan.
In order to identify and fix specific conformation and quality traits from the various breed types resulting from the crossbreeding, a registered association was established in 1923. Then, in 1944, it was officially recognized as a breed and given the name Japanese Brown because of its distinctive brown color (Nishida, 1973). After 22 years of practicing this selective registration system, Akaushi cattle were fairly uniform. The use of Akaushi as draft cattle gradually shifted to beef production, due to the mechanization of agriculture and increasing demand for beef.
In 1994, new genetic lines of Akaushi cattle were imported into the state of Texas, the United States and they represent the largest Akaushi breeding nucleus outside of Kumamoto, Japan.
This breed of cattle could become an integral part of domestic and foreign markets for the production of palatable beef containing minimum external fat in a predictable and cost effective manner. In addition, infusion of these genetics in a crossbreeding program will maximize heterosis and breed complementarity responses.
Scientific studies show that Japanese Wagyu cattle are characterized by their genetic ability to produce highly palatable beef containing high amounts of intramuscular fat or marbling.
Genetic undesirable conditions occur in all breeds of cattle and mammals and some of them are strongly associated with certain animal species or breeds of cattle. Around two hundred different genetic defects have been identified in beef cattle.