Australian Wagyu Forum

Ginjo (Mike Buchanan)

AWA Prefix: GIN

Ginjo Wagyu

Ginjo principal Mike Buchanan

From commencement in 1998, Ginjo Wagyu has focused on the production of profitable fullblood feeders and superior breeding stock selected for both feeder performance and adaptation to Australian conditions. A parallel focus has been the identification of rare Japanese Black fullblood genetics.

Fullblood feeder perations commenced about seven years ahead of any open fullblood feeder market in Australia. A foundation breeding objective was the production of fullblood feeders capable of competing at Japanese carcass competition level – the premier world benchmark, and all Ginjo breeding references Japanese practice.

Another key target is production of ‘balanced’ fullblood breeding stock; with an emphasis on enhanced maternal traits, increased growth and maintained high marbling. Premium Ginjo seedstock are marketed internationally under the MarbleMax™ registered trademark.

Ginjo principal Mike Buchanan holds a Master of Agriculture degree from the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, NSW, among a variety of rural science, communications and marketing awards. His ‘other’ career spans over 30 years in multi-national corporate affairs, marketing and communications.

He has been a director of the Australian Wagyu Association since 2014. He co-founded the Australian Wagyu Forum website in 2007 with Takao Suzuki. Tak was then operating Blue Mountains Wagyu, but became part of the Suzuki Farms partnership in 2016.

Ginjo Operations

Ginjo Wagyu operates solely as a producer and marketer of fullblood Japanese Black cattle and genetics. Consultancy or other commercial services have never been offered in the international or Australian Wagyu industry.

Profitable fullblood feeders were the initial target, with a simple emphasis on developing high marbling genetics to deliver optimum feeder returns. Early production was fed on retained ownership with David Blackmore’s programs at ICM Peechelba from about 2002.

Ginjo W99, early breeder selected for increased growth with marbling.

Ginjo MarbleMax™ Hiranami B901 – A leading Australian growth + marbling sire

A pre-2005 emphasis on high Tajima fullblood feeders was abandoned on analysis of feeding outcomes, replaced with a focus on enhanced early growth based on maternal selection and higher terminal weights, with maintained marbling. Feeder sales to feedlots including AACo Aronui feedlot at Dalby commenced in 2005, and have continued since. Carcass feedback has been the most influential criteria in selection decisions since 2003.

Genetics, seedstock and feeders from the core breeder group of about 200 have attracted international attention, with sales in the EU, USA, RSA, NZ, and the Middle East.

Australian adaptation objectives in Ginjo breeding include the production of progeny capable of good performance without supplementation under Australian grazing conditions. Calves are intended to be capable of finishing on feed with high marbling at superior weights, or be suitable for retention for breeding in similar regimes. The operation runs 150-200 fullblood breeders (depending on production cycle and seasons), at properties at Tea Gardens and Gloucester, NSW, Australia. Breeding bulls are offered annually, along with drafts of breeding heifers and PTIC females. The herd was first recorded within AWA Group Breedplan in 2010, with recorded animals back to 2004. In 2020, about 16 GIN sires were ranked within the AWA BREEDPLAN published sires list. Ginjo is also EU market accredited.



The herd foundation group consisted of eight fullblood embryos were purchased in 1998, with six heifers forming the breeder nucleus in 1999. Five adult females, were added in 2000. These included two descendants of the exceptional Miyazaki prefecture cow, Yuriko, whose lineage now continues through numerous Ginjo females. Early Itozakura strength in many pedigrees ensured good foundation frame scores.

Tottori/Kedaka infusion commenced in 2007, and the herd has since benefited from the addition of rare, threatened Japanese Black genetics. Outside Japan, few Japanese Black herds worldwide include such a diversity of prefectural genetics. A core Ginjo commitment is to maintenance of diversity and the preservation of rare on threatened Japanese Black genetics in the Australian herd.

What Bird Is That ? – The Yatagarasu Story

The three-legged raven of Japanese mythology, Yatagarasu, depicted in Ginjo Wagyu advertising, symbolises divine guidance, re-birth and rejuvenation. It is the official symbol of the Japanese Football Association. Throughout Asia, mythic three-legged ravens are associated with the sun (and, therefore, life).In Inuit (and much Native American) mythology, the raven is responsible for light and the birth of the world. In the Ginjo context, the Yatagarasu acknowledges Japanese guidance.