In 2012, Miyazaki Prefecture won the prestige quinquennial Wagyu beef competition marking its second consecutive achievement as Japan’s No. 1 beef.
Miyazaki Prefecture is the second top producer of Japanese Black Wagyu beef in the country. However, in 2010, foot-and-mouth disease epidemic broke out in the area, which resulted to the culling of over 300,000 cows and pigs. The prefecture took a hard hit in particular, as farming is one of its main industries. Many farmers had to give up their livestock business as a result. The appellation as Japan’s best beef served as a ray of hope. Behind this was the farmers’ persistence even when it seemed everything was lost.
Katsuya Iwasaki lost all his 430 cattle in the epidemic. But he made a new start in hopes of growing cattle that can be recognized as Miyazaki Beef. Learning from his experience during the epidemic, he employed a rearing system with minimized stress for the cattle. As a result, his beef is a beautiful, lustrous red and is finely marbled, almost like a piece of art.
People from in and out of the prefecture come for a taste of Japan’s top Miyazaki Beef. The brand has also started spreading its wings internationally.
The program features the farmers’ resilience towards adversity as they aim for Japan’s No. 1 beef.