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Kenichi Ono wrote the book on Wagyu…literally. - Lone Mountain Cattle
For years, I had seen and heard references to Kenichi Ono’s three-volume series Outstanding Wagyu of Japan, but I had never been able to obtain my own copies. I sent inquiries to a mailing address in Japan, but they were evidently ignored or misdirected. Ono’s series was the definitive work on the genetic history of the Wagyu breed, so I was understandably frustrated. Then, while in Yonago City, Tottori, attending the 9th Zenkyo (the All-Wagyu Show held in a different Japanese city every four years), I happened upon a booth selling books. Though unable to speak Japanese, I managed, through halting inquiry and serendipity, to stumble across stacks of books that looked as if they might be Ono’s work. They were sizable and had photos of Wagyu bulls on them. As it turned out, I had indeed hit the jackpot. After returning to the States, I contacted a translator named Yugo Osugi, and we have been collaborating ever since. I was able to find a fourth volume of Ono’s series while visiting the 10th Zenkyo in Sasebo, Nagasaki, in 2012. What follows is a series of blog posts exploring Ono’s work. In this introductory section, I will lay out some...