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.
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
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
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.
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.