Originally hailing from Japan, Wagyu is a breed of cattle genetically predisposed for intense marbling. This special breed is famed for producing the best beef in the world. Bred in varying levels of purity around the world, the beef from this rare breed is known for its tender texture, incredible flavor, and rich in healthy fats.

Unique Qualities

Wagyu cattle are known for:

  • Calving ease
  • Generous Ribeye size
  • Finer Meat texture
  • No excessive back fat
  • Being very fertile: bulls have a high servicing capacity at a young age and heifers reach sexual maturity at a young age.
  • Docile temperaments and easy to handle and move
  • Being hardy and adaptive to different environments.


In the USA and other countries outside of Japan, crossbreeding Wagyu with conventional cattle is common practice. Out of the estimated 30,000 Wagyu-Influenced cattle in the USA, 85% are crossbred. This has created four classifications of Wagyu in America, the most common being F1:

  • F1 – 50% Crossbred Wagyu
  • F2 – 75% Crossbred Wagyu
  • F3 – 93.75% Purebred Wagy
  • 100% Fullblood Wagyu


The first import of Wagyu cattle, only four bulls, came to the USA from Japan in 1976. Between 1976 and 1997, when Japan put a cattle export ban in place, less than 250 Wagyu were exported from Japan to the USA, most of which were Japanese Black. These cattle along with small amounts of genetics are the foundation for the population of Wagyu in America today. Read more about the history of Wagyu here.

Wagyu vs Kobe

All Kobe is Wagyu. Not all Wagyu is Kobe. Kobe beef is beef from Fullblood Japanese Black Wagyu cattle that are bred, raised, and slaughtered in Kobe city, the capital of the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan. Farmers follow specific practices passed on from generations and cows are slaughtered in appointed slaughterhouses. The meat is thoroughly analyzed and must meet strict grading criteria to be eligible for Kobe designation. Only about 3,000 cattle achieve this status each year, and only 10% of the beef is exported out of Japan.