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Kia Ora Stud Fullblood Wagyu cows on a roundbale of hay

A Brief History of Wagyu

The word Wagyu indicates the breed’s origin with a literal translation or meaning of ‘Japanese Beef'. ‘Wa’ meaning Japanese and ‘Gyu’ meaning Beef. It is a horned breed that can be black or red.


The Wagyu breed, originally Asian, was a cross of British and European breeds. Used for their strength, as ploughs in the cultivation of rice in the 1800’s. The cattle were originally imported to the U.S in 1976 as two Tottori Black Wagyu and two Kumamoto Red Wagyu bulls.


Beef was not consumed in the region at the time for cultural reasons, until it was declared by a military leader, to make soldiers stronger. When the soldiers returned from the war, they also brought back an appetite for beef. The nation was divided, until breeding for human consumption began.


Wagyu beef has become a national Japanese treasure, as the demand for the highly marbled and quality flavoured beef continues to grow. This consistency and quality of taste and tenderness is due to the maintenance of the bloodlines that contain genetic markers for a quality product.


We were fortunate enough to experience the Japanese culture and relationship with Wagyu, on our recent Trade Mission visit to Japan.

The Wagyu Difference

As listed on the Wagyu breed has many outstanding strengths, such as;

  • Outstanding beef eating quality

  • High marbling, delivering beef tenderness, juiciness and flavour

  • Softer fat composition: a higher ratio of unsaturated fats – providing a healthier beef product

  • Finer meat texture

  • Calving Ease

  • Fertility and virility

  • Quiet temperament

  • Versatile adaptation to environments

  • Early female maturity

  • Strong foragers

  • Transport well over long distances

The genetic quality has been maintained through the use of genetic and growth data collection during breeding programs.

We use this data at Kia Ora Stud in order to breed only the finest quality Wagyu. We strive for quality stock, as a result of strict genetic breeding programs.

All our stock are DNA parent verified Wagyu so you are guaranteed to purchase a quality product.


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