The Kumano area of Wakayama Prefecture is home to the Kumano Kodo, a Word Heritage Site. The natural environs are strictly protected. Religious rites in the Kumano region date back to records in the Nihon Shoki, the oldest chronicles of Japan. The imperial family and aristocracy long worshipped this area as the site of gods. Given the lack of flatland, cattle were also used as beasts of burden in this area to help navigate the harsh terrain.
Kumano Cattle is a brand-name cattle raised in Wakayama Prefecture. The Kumano region prospered from the middle Heian period (794-1185) through Japan’s Middle Ages (1185-1573), with cattle used for transport being brought from Kyoto and then settling in Kumano. These cattle were initially used as beasts of burden for tilling fields. Seeking to produce a beef-grade meat, they bred the bloodlines with Tajima Cattle to produce the unique Kumano Cattle brand. On December 1, 2004, the Kumano Certification Committee started a certification system, shifting from a brand of cattle to a brand of beef. The total number of cattle meeting those standards in addition to the on-bone ratings are 200, with a mere 8 heads on average being shipped monthly, making it an extremely rare brand.
|Terroir classification||Cattle 14 months or older bred by a resident of Wakayama Prefecture|
|Age at shipment||26 months or older|
|Other||Meat on the bone that meets the above definitions is additionally subject to the ratings below. Only then it is certified as Kumano Cattle by the Kumano Certification Committee.|