Maesawa Gyu

Maesawa Gyu

Registration Number 28
Name of the GI Maesawa Gyu, MAESAWA BEEF
Class Meat
Date of Protection 2017/03/03
Producing Area Iwate Prefecture
Maesawa Ward, Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture
Applicant – Name and Address

Iwate Furusato Agricultural Cooperative

131-1 Oyama-Aza-Sugayachi, Isawa Ward, Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture, 023-0402 Japan

Producing Area

 MAESAWA BEEF has a fine, marbled, and moist texture obtained from fattened cattle bred for the longest time in Maesawa Ward, Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture. Its light fat and fine fragrance that spreads out as if it was melting in the mouth make the beef superb. It does justice to any dish like grilled meat, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu and steak. There are also MAESAWA BEEF patties which are cooked just right and called the "toro (fatty part of tuna) of the land."

 Maesawa cattle are fattened in a stress-free environment. High-grade rice straw grown in the area is used as feed, and the breeder's affection is bestowed on each and every cattle. The fattening calves are castrated Japanese black-haired cattle which competition with other production areas is avoided to ensure superior stock, but the creation of marbled texture of the meat requires special techniques. With a small head number of around 25 on average per farm, the breeder carefully raises each cattle in their own way.

 Maesawa Ward, Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture is an ideal place for rice production; the Kitakami River runs through the central part, abundant water from melting snow flows out from the Ou Mountain Range and Kitakami Mountains, and there is a fertile ground. Therefore, the area supplies a plentiful supply of good quality, clean rice straw.

 Taking advantage of regional characteristics as a former production center of horses, in the 1950's, breeding cattle from Okayama Prefecture and Shimane Prefecture were introduced, and production of Japanese black calves began. At that time, calves were raised but not fattened; there were no orders from the local area and the price was sluggish. Under such a circumstance, Maesawa Town Agricultural Cooperative Association was established in 1965 and a special fattening subcommittee was also formed to begin fattening of Japanese black cattle.

 After that, efforts to train leaders in fattening management and technology were started, and a production technique improvement throughout the region were planned by holding management courses and inviting special instructors.

 Due to these efforts, production of fattening cattle picked up, carcass information about the fattening cattle that were shipped was fed back to the breeders. An integrated system for production of MAESAWA BEEF from calves to fattening cattle thereby have been organized.

Back to

Delivering the Charm of Japan’s Traditional Specialty Products