The Difference Between American Wagyu and Japanese Wagyu

American Wagyu

Wagyu beef is considered one of the most esteemed meat worldwide. However, there are different variations and gradings of this meat, which determines their quality. There are mainly two kinds of wagyu beef available: American and Japanese. 

The name wagyu originates from “wa” and “gyu”, which means japan and cow, respectively. So, wagyu is essential of Japanese origin; the American version is just a westernized version of the priced meat. If you haven’t tasted wagyu yet, you can buy Wagyu brisket and American Wagyu beef jerky from

There are a lot of differences between these two varieties, and in this article, we will be putting some light on these differences. 

The Origin Of American Wagyu And How Is It Different From Japanese Wagyu:

Authentic Wagyu beef has always been a staple for the Japanese community. However, exporting meat or cattle was not allowed until a short period of around 20 years from 1975. And during these times, few American breeders got hold of the Japanese cattle, which marked the origin of American Wagyu. Although they are considered a premium choice of beef, they are easily available throughout the states. You can go out to buy Wagyu brisket or American Wagyu beef jerky from any licensed slaughterhouse in America. 

There are certain aspects in which the Japanese Wagyu differs from its westernized version, and the differences are as follows,

  • Cattle herding methods – Living conditions and the climate are very different in America compared to Japan. This affects the feeding habits of the cattle, which leads to variation in build and meat quality. Also, in most places across America, stress-free cattle raising is not practised, while in Japan, it is taken very seriously. These strict rules and breeding norms ensure Japanese Wagyu’s superiority over American Wagyu. 
  • Grading norms – Grading standards are very important as it helps customers in identifying which meat is better. But the problem lies in the fact that America and Japan use two different grading systems. Since finding a pure breed Wagyu in Japan is more likely than in America, A grades are not given to any Wagyu that is not pure breed in Japan. But in America, this system is not followed, which creates many problems when you want to compare American and Japanese Wagyu. 
  • Flavour and texture – Original Japanese Wagyu is very tender and juicy with intricate marbling. The Japanese Wagyu also has a higher fat percentage than the American wagyu, which creates a melt-in-mouth sensation once cooked properly. 


Authentic Japanese Wagyu is always going to be superior to its American counterpart. But American Wagyu is still a lot better than the beef produced by the indigenous cattle herders. So if you are staying in the States, then also you can buy Wagyu brisket made from original Japanese Wagyu along with some American Wagyu beef jerky to get a taste of both the variants.  

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