The history of wagyu in Sweden begins in Japan. The word wagyu is Japanese and means "Japanese Cattle". Wagyu meat has become world famous under the brand "Kobe Beef", which is meat from wagyu bred in the Kobe district in Japan. Japanese authorities have protected the name"Kobe Beef " which means that only meat produced from cattle in the Kobe district may be called Kobe Beef.

Wagyu has specific genetic properties that provides the unique deliciously tasty and nutritious meat. Wagyu can be raised anywhere in the world but may only be called "full-blood wagyu" or "100% wagyu" as long as its genetic line can be traced through DNA sampling.

Originally, the wagyu breed were used pulling heavy plows and wagons in Japan. The animals were specifically selected and bred in order to cope with hard working conditions. As a result, over the centuries, the breed has developed intramuscular fat cells that constitute a quickly available source of energy. According to old Japanese traditions, the cattle shall grow slowly and in a stress-free environment.


Wagyu comprises of several different blood lines in Japan and the dominant lines of black wagyu animals are Tajima, Tottori, Shimane and Okayama. The brown wagyu line from the island of Kyushu origins from Kochi and Kumamoto.

Japan has a ban on exporting the wagyu breed since 1910, as the animals are considered a national treasure. However, in the 1970s and later in 1993 and 1994, export licenses for some 40 animals with different genetic lines were obtained for a research project at the University of Seattle, Washington.

After the end of the project, remaining animals were bought by ranchers who began to build the breed in the United States. In 2014, it was estimated that there were about 3,000 pure bred wagyu animals in the United States.

A very small number of animals go to slaughter every year in the United States as the livestock is considered to still being built up. About 98% of all meat sold in the United States as "wagyu" or "American Kobe" is not pure bred but cross breeds between wagyu and, for example, Black Angus, and thus does not have the same fine characteristics as pure bred wagyu meat.


Wagyuköttet is not only extremely tasty, but is also probably the most healthy red meat you can eat. More than half of all intramuscular fat in wagyu meat consists of unsaturated fatty acids which reduces total cholesterol while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL).