JOURNAL / JAPAN etc.(English)

Japanese Ingredients for the World’s Top Kitchens #33


Each Cut a Marbled Work of Art


質の良い脂で「肉の芸術品」を次代へつなぐ 松阪牛[三重]未来に届けたい日本の食材
text by Michiko Watanabe / photographs by Daisuke Nakajima / English text by Susan Rogers Chikuba

Though the times are always changing, there are certain timeless ingredients from Japan that will never go out of style. Yukio Hattori, president of Hattori Nutrition College in Tokyo, introduces unique labors of love—items grown and produced with care and integrity by hardworking suppliers across the country.

Matsusaka beef is named for the region of Mie Prefecture where these black-haired wagyu cows are grown. Only virgin female cows can be designated Matsusaka. Run by Hiroki Ito, Ito Bokujyo produces meats with not only the finest A5-grade ranking but also the highest marbling ratio (BMS), which for A5 is measured from 8 to 12. “Ninety percent of our cattle are A5, with a BMS ranging from 10 to 12,” Ito notes proudly.

“In my father’s day all of our herd was Tajima, which is still a fine pedigree. But lately we’ve been shifting to cattle from Kagoshima. Feed quality is critical, too. We use organic rice straw for roughage and a carefully formulated blend of concentrated feed. And we provide our cows with a clean, stress-free environment.” The herd totals 500 now, a number Ito hopes to increase to 2,000 in two years and 5,000 within a decade.


Each cow has a stall big enough for two.

(写真左)仔牛の時は輸入の牧草に頼るが、それ以外は自家製や国産の稲ワラを粗飼料として与える。 (写真右)濃厚飼料は大麦やトウモロコシをメインにふすま、米ぬか、脂かすなどを独自に配合。最も多い時期で1日8~10kgを与える。

(photo left )  Mature cows are fed organic rice straw grown domestically or on-site. 
(photo right) The concentrated feed is an original blend of wheat and rice bran, barley, corn, and tallow; each cow might consume as much as 8 to 10 kilograms of it per day.


Tajima stock now represent just five percent of all cattle grown for Matsusaka beef. 

(写真左)A5の中でも最高ランクのBMS12のサーロイン。 (写真右)網から滴り落ちる脂が炎となって、肉を明るく照らす。

(photo left)This A5 sirloin has a marbling ratio of 12, the highest. 
(photo right)  Processed at 38 months, Ito’s beef is rich in oleic and other monounsaturated fatty acids. 


Owner Hiroki Ito opened a yakiniku barbecue restaurant in the city of Tsu last November.

◎Ito Bokujyo
1696 Ichishi-cho Takano, Tsu-shi, Mie

(The Cuisine Magazine /August 2017)