Tajima is a region of uneven terrain with steep hills and valleys, and Tajima Cattle are a small, sturdy breed of cattle that has lived here together with the people of Tajima from the old times. This breed of cattle is now becoming famous around the world as being the source of the leading Japanese brands of beef.
Tajima Cattle were mentioned as a breed of cattle “suited for tilling, pulling carts, and for food” in an ancient Heian Era (794–1185) document. With their slender bones, only a thin layer of subcutaneous fat, and excellent network of muscle fibers, Tajima Cattle are characterized by their perfect balance of lean meat and fat. Following long years of selective breeding by the producers of Tajima, Tajima Beef has developed all the qualities of texture, sweetness, and flavor that are so prized by gourmets around the world.
One of the reasons Tajima Beef is so prized by gourmets around the world is the great quality of its marbling, called sashi. This sashi is created because of Tajima Cattle’s graceful and tight network of muscles, which trap an appropriate amount of good-quality fat within them. The meat itself is delicious, but add to this the sashi, with its sweet, high-quality fat, and you have something that literally melts in your mouth.
If you would like to fully enjoy the tender meat and sweet sashi of Tajima Beef, we recommend a steak cooked rare to medium.
Tajima Beef boasts a perfect distribution of high-quality fat and has a good flavor of the beef itself. It is also sweet and tender, and suits best to sukiyaki.
Jabu is a local dish from Tajima, the home of Tajima Cattle. The dish includes a variety of vegetables and konjac noodles, which bring out the flavor of the beef.
Japan has many world-famous beef brands including Kobe Beef, Matsusaka Beef, and Omi Beef. In fact, however, there are no breeds of cattle called Kobe Cattle or Matsusaka Cattle. The cattle behind these brands of beef are Tajima Cattle, making this breed the source of all the famous brands of beef. It is Tajima Cattle that dispersed to other regions and have been selectively bred by the producers of those regions into branded beef products that have gained a great reputation.
Tajima Cattle were recognized for the great quality of their fat right from the Heian times. This pedigree has been passed down in an unbroken line in the Tajima region. During 1897 to 1906, a “family register for cattle” was set up for the first time in Japan in Mikata-gun, the chief region for rearing Tajima Cattle. And also, the practice of exclusive breeding was continued and interbreeding with cattle from other prefectures was strictly shunned. There is a well-established system for maintaining the pedigree of Tajima Cattle, which have a much more strictly preserved lineage and clearer roots than any other Japanese cattle breed.
The hilly regions of Tajima are lush with greenery, thanks to its abundant rain and clean water resources. Tajima Cattle are reared with care, surrounded by lush nature in a quiet and stress-free environment.
Beef became part of the Japanese diet a mere 100 years ago. Before that, Tajima Cattle, like other cattle, were used to till the fields and draw carts to convey goods. Because of their small stature, sturdiness, and fecundity, Tajima Cattle were prized in the Tajima region with its numerous small terraced paddy fields and were reared with great love and care in farmhouses and elsewhere.
It is a great joy to us when people appreciate the value of Tajima Cattle. As these are living beings, there are times when things don’t go exactly as planned, but we take great care to maintain the cattle in good health and feel a sense of fulfillment when they grow as expected. We would like to perfect our techniques to ship cattle even better cattle, increase the head of cattle, and expand our farms.
At JA Tajima, we feed our cattle coarse feed, which includes a large proportion of roughage from grass, etc., rather than concentrated feed, which includes large proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This is in an effort to rear strong calves with high-quality, dense meat. The animals are raised according to the “Manual for Providing Large Volumes of Coarse Feed” as prescribed by JA Tajima, and calves that pass the checks conducted at an auction market are shipped under the brand of “Suku-Suku Kusa Sodachi.”
JA Tajima and related organizations have registered “Tajima Cattle” as a brand of cattle “born and bred in Hyogo prefecture.” Again, from the point of view of traceability, all the heads of cattle are given individual identification numbers, which can be searched online (via a search engine for individual identification numbers of cattle) for information about the animal’s date of birth, place of rearing, and other history. This allows customers to purchase safe Tajima Cattle without any concerns.
Out of a desire to get more people to taste delicious Tajima Beef at their convenience, JA Tajima has set up the JA Tajima Niku no Mise, a directly-managed store that specializes in Tajima Beef. Those who do not live nearby can purchase the product at Jigomeya, an online store selling Tajima rice and also directly managed by JA Tajima.
The Niku no Mise Head Office, which is directly operated by JA Tajima, is located in Mikata district, which is the main production center of Tajima Cattle, and right next to the Yumura Onsen, one of the Sanin region’s well-known hot springs. Such premium quality Tajima Beef at such affordable prices are only possible because the store is directly operated by JA Tajima.
The Farmer’s Market Tajimanma, directly operated by JA Tajima, sells a variety of specialty products grown in Tajima, mainly including rice and vegetables. The Niku no Mise Toyooka Store, which is a specialty store selling Tajima Beef, is a part of the Farmer’s Market Tajimanma. Do take the opportunity to also purchase rice and vegetables that go so well with Tajima Beef.
An online store that mainly sells rice grown in Tajima, the rice-cultivation region at which storks stop by. Also available are premium quality Wagyu Tajima Beef, and a variety of other delicious regional produce.