Wagyu - Kuroge or Akaushi? Black or red?

In Japan, Wagyu is the collective term for the four breeds of beef cattle found there. That is why the Japanese react irritated when it is explained to them that worldwide the black Wagyu (Kuroge) can be crossed with the red Wagyu (Akaushi) and then still be considered a purebred Wagyu. This is comparable to crossing Angus and Simmental - but it would still be a purebred "beef cattle".

Each of the two breeds has its own special characteristics!

Each of the two breeds has its own special characteristics. Comparing them against each other makes no sense. About the black Wagyu has already been sufficiently reported - where do the red Wagyu have their advantages?

Akaushi are called the Japanese Brown. Only internationally the "brown" was exchanged for a "red" - therefore red Wagyu. The animals that are found out of Japan come from the Kumamoto Prefecture. There they were exposed to the influence of Simmental, British Devon and Korean Hanwoo - cattle before the herd book was closed. On my trip through Australia, I was told by breeders that the influence of Simmental cattle varies, but is said to be about 25% on average.

In principle, these animals also have good marbling characteristics. Depending on the "family line", these are pronounced differently. So if marbling is desired by the customers, these animals can definitely score over other breeds - also because of the texture of the meat.

Red Wagyu offer:

  • good mother cow characteristics due to the milk
  • very good carcass weights
  • a very good utilization of green fodder (much better than the black Wagyu)
  • a relatively early slaughter maturity at 25-27 months, because after that they gain weight only under-proportionally, so the feed conversion becomes much worse
  • a slaughter weight of 750 kg
  • a high value of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids due to the green fodder - good from a health point of view, but from a taste point of view polyunsaturated fatty acids are not necessarily desirable!


Red and black Wagyu cannot be compared with each other - they are two breeds, each of which needs its own independent positioning in marketing!