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Origin and Development of the Akaushi Cattle Breed

Akaushi, known as the Japanese Red Cattle (Bos Taurus type) began its journey in the early 1920s in the northwest part of Kumamoto Prefecture in Kumamoto, Japan.

In Japan, cattle breeds are divided into two types, dairy and Wagyu. The Akaushi breed is one of the four types of breeds in the Wagyu family. The three other breeds within the Wagyu family are the Japanese Black (Black Wagyu), Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn.

In the mid-1920s, two distinct strains or types of Akaushi were defined: the Kumamoto and the Kochi. These two strains or types of Akaushi differ greatly in their breed characteristics. The Kumamoto Akaushi was strongly influenced by Simmentals and Devons with a very small influence of South Korean cattle.

The Kochi Red Wagyu profoundly resemble the characteristics of its original native Korean cattle; small in size, refined bone structure, lack of muscle development, and black pigment around the nose, feet and legs. Today, The Kumamoto Red Wagyu more closely resembles modern American beef cattle.

In 1923 a registered association was formed to identify and fix specific conformation and quality traits resulting from crossbreeding. After 22 years of practicing a selective registration system, Akaushi cattle was fairly uniform. Due to the mechanization of agriculture and increasing demand for more beef, Akaushi draft cattle gradually shifted into beef production.

Akaushi Becomes Official

In 1944, Akaushi was officially recognized as a breed and given the name, Japanese Red (Akaushi), because of its distinctive red color.

In 1957, as the cattle industry advanced, draft performance was the primary objective for improvement, while meat performance was secondary. In 1966, central performance and a progeny testing systems were established in order to produce superior sires for embryo transfer. Also, a unique dam evaluation system was implemented with the hopes of speeding up genetic improvement.

Akaushi Arrives in the United States of America

In 1994, the new genetic lines of Akaushi cattle were imported into the United States of America. The state of Texas represents the largest Akaushi breeding nucleus outside of Kumamoto, Japan.

Due to the Japanese government's interest in improving this distinctive line, Akaushi was designated as a protected breed. In doing so, Akaushi reaped enormous benefits in the controlling and monitoring of breeding programs.


Intensive research and studies have led to a breed that produces highly palatable beef. Akaushi meat contains extremely high amounts of intramuscular fat or marbling, with a fatty acid composition that is significantly lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, higher in monounsaturated fat and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA has been the subject of intense worldwide research over the past ten years and is considered to be a beneficial and essential fatty acid in human nutrition.

Akaushi cattle consistently produce meat that is above the USDA Prime in marbling content. Because it is a healthier meat source, Akaushi beef is more desirable to western consumers than other U.S. meats.

Personal Commitment

While working with HeartBrand Beef, Inc., Dr. Antonio Elias Calles made a personal commitment to preserve the fullblood lines of the Akaushi breed. This mind set of dedication created a level of trust with the Japan Association of Akaushi Registration. His careful attention to detail, management practices, and breeding programs lead to the creation of the Antonio Elias Calles Award-an unprecedented honor within the Japanese beef industry. This award is now part of Japan's national champion female competition which is held in the Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan. Dr. Calles was invited to serve as Special Judge for the inaugural award competition.

HeartBrand Beef, Inc. registered the first Akaushi calf conceived and born in the U.S. with the Japan Association of Akaushi.

Twinwood Cattle Company, Inc.

In 2009, through careful planning and investments, Twinwood Cattle Company, Inc. acquired the complete breeding nucleus of the Akaushi breed. In adopting the same disciplines as Dr. Calles, we are dedicated to preserving the integrity of the blood lines of this rare breed.

For more information regarding acquiring Akaushi cattle, please contact Twinwood Cattle Company, Inc. today.

Copyright © 2011 Twinwood Cattle Co. Inc.
10514 FM 1489, P.O. Box 649, Simonton, TX 77476