a distinguished History

Red Wagyu

All Reds or Japanese Brown cattle are Wagyu, but not all Wagyu is as distinctive and desired as the Reds. Known as the “Emperor’s Herd,” they are deemed a National Treasure in Japan, a closed breed forbidden to leave the country. This is a breed of prized Japanese cattle known for its distinct marbling, giving it a rich buttery flavor and a “melt-in-your-mouth” texture.  

Truly unique animals, Akaushi is undeniably the best beef in the American market.


WAGYU refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow. Of the four breeds that comprise “wagyu”, the Japanese Brown/Red, were expressly reserved for the Emperor, his family, and the Samurai.

 Several hundred Black Wagyu cattle were imported to the US; however, only 16 of the Brown/Red wagyu have left Japan.

Arrival to the U.S.

The origin of Red Wagyu is in Kumamoto Japan, located in the middle of Kyushu Island.  In 1976, two Kumamoto red bulls were imported into the U.S. by Morris Whitney.  They were Rueshaw (Japanese National Champion) and Judo. Their genetics are rapidly dwindling and very costly. Skillfully bred, they will endure through their progeny.

A loophole in a trade act between the United States and Japan allowed Japanese Venture Partners (JVP) to import 2 red heifers, Kunisakae and 27 Homare, in 1994.

Another import occurred in 1994 the day a Texas physician, Dr. Al Woods, and rancher, Jose’ Antonio Elias Calles, sped to the airport with three bulls – Shigemaru, Tamamaru, Hikari – and 9 females.

It was wild, to say the least as Japanese opposition groups created human barricades around their vehicles and attempted poisonings of the small herd. Their semen inventory was confiscated… almost all of it. On a specially equipped Boeing 737 with bodyguards, Dr. Woods reached into the cow, Akiko, and broke a stashed straw of semen. The insemination would take her and her son, the stowaway, to the U.S. Big Al, the stowaway, was the first Red Wagyu bull born on American soil. 

For two years, the cattle were quarantined under the guard of off-duty Texas Rangers protecting the herd from thieves, ranchers, and interbreeding, until the legal issues could be settled. After the judicial smoke cleared, the only 16 Red Wagyu cattle to ever leave Japan were declared legal imports. 

Stellar Breeding
Superior Taste
Rare Genetics
Calving Ease

We meticulously maintain low inbreeding coefficients to protect the integrity of this rare breed prized for its superior meat quality and calving ease.


The Japanese Brown, also known as Red Wagyu is a distinct breed, separate from other Japanese cattle; there are no genetic similarities between Red Wagyu and other Japanese Breeds. The history of the Red Wagyu breed dates to the late 1800’s. In approximately 1870, Devon Cattle, which originated in Devon, England, were infused into the Hanwoo Cattle, originated in Korea. It wasn’t until approximately 1910 when the Simmental cattle, who’s origin is in the valley of the Simme River, West Switzerland, was introduced into the strain. Soon after, the breed was closed to any outside genetics and the Red Wagyu, also called Japanese Brown breed was formed, being a closed herd for over 100 years.


At Tangled H Ranch, we have descendants of Legendary Red Wagyu Foundation Sires.

Red Wagyu Exportation From Japan - Foundation Animals

- 5 Red Bulls - Judo, Rueshaw, Hikari, Shigemaru, and Tamamaru

- 11 Red Heifers - 27 Homare, Kunisakae, Akiko, Dai 3 Namiaki, Dai8 Marunami, Dai 9 Koubai 73, Fuyuko, Haruko, Namiko, Naomi, and Ume

- 6 Red Calves Born - Big Al (Bull), Kaedemaru (Heifer), Ringo (Heifer), 505 (Bull), Momigimaru (Heifer), and 504 (Heifer)

Full Blood Akaushi genes have been closed to any other genetics for well over 100 years. The genetics of our cattle are meticulously tracked and traced in a sophisticated database with DNA testing.