A Day in the Life of a Japanese Wagyu Butcher Shop Owner in Tokyo. This Japanese Butcher living in Tokyo Japan offers premium A5 Japanese wagyu beef, Japanese pork, Japanese chicken and various curated meats. This is an average day living in Tokyo as well as average day working in tokyo as a meat butcher. You’ll get a glimpse into Japan work culture for this field. Teru, 44 years old, runs a local Japanese meat butcher shop in Tokyo, Yanagiya, which has been in his family for 73 years. It’s named after his family, Yanagi. Yanagiya only sells A5 Sendai Gyu Beef, which is famous for having a strict grading criteria for it’s meat, as only 30 % of the cows in Miyagi prefecture are good enough to be certified with premium A5 medal. All Japanese beef is considered wagyu beef, but not all Wagyu beef is A5 grade. A5 wagyu beef is the highest quality of meat you can get in Japan based on it’s beef grading system. Basically, you have Yield Grade and a Quality Grade, hence A AND 5. The Yield Grade, is the amount of meat you can get from the cow, and is graded either A, B or C, A being the highest mark. While the Quality grade, depends on 4 categories, marbling, color & brightness, firmness and texture, and finally color, luster and quality of fat. Each is graded from 1 being poor all the way to 5 excellent. In order to achieve an overall 5 grade, the meat must receive a 5 in every category. So Receiving all 5’s but 1 4 in a category, won’t cut and it’d result in an overall grade of 4. If you look closely at the Wagyu beef, you can see what the Japanese call Sashi, or in English the marbling or thin stips of fat in the beef. Without this excellent marbling, the meat wouldn’t be considered grade 5 quality.
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