World K’s Suzutani (FB1617) is without doubt the “most famous” female Wagyu exported from Japan. She is Tajima-line, born on December 28, 1991 in Miyagi Prefecture in Japan, and was exported to the U.S. from Japan in 1993 as part of the Mannett Group (later to become World K’s) shipment that included the first females to leave Japan. She is sired by Tanishige, who was sired by the famous Yasutani Doi, and out of the famous dam Suzunami, who was sired by the famous Shigeshigenami.
She has been referred to as “the queen of the breed”, and has sired numerous highly respected offspring. While she is generally regarded as “the best” female to have been exported from Japan, such references would be more accurately stated as “the best carcass female”, as she actually has rather poor maternal characteristics as do many of the 100% Tajima-line Wagyu. See the graphic below of the Australian EBV data from June 30, 2018 showing her ranking (in percentages) within the Wagyu breed for each measured trait, which shows that she has outstandingly low birth weight and excellent ribeye size, marbling, and retail yield, but poor early growth, mature size and milk production.
But what the Australian EBV data does not show is several other important characteristics of her and her ancestors. She has a reputation for a propensity to transmit her characteristics to offspring in a powerful and consistent manner. She was also a very prolific donor cow with excellent fertility, flushed many times and producing many offspring from embryos.
On her paternal side, her sire Tanishige was proven by the Livestock Improvement Association of Japan and his official proof performed by the National Association of Registered Wagyu (NARW) shows average daily gain of 0.92 kg, BMS 3.1, and Ribeye Area of 41 cm2. Tanishigeʼs maternal line is also well proven and has produced numerous outstanding sons in Japan.
On the maternal side of her pedigree, her dam Suzunami was classified at the highest level of Kurokou (a Japanese high-performance animal registry for which animals must meet highly select criteria and also exhibit outstanding reproductive performance) at 78.5 and her maternal grand sire Shigeshigenami shows daily gain of 0.79 kg, BMS +3.3, and Ribeye Area of 46 cm2. Her grand dam, Suzuko, was also classified Kurokou @ 78.5 and was sired by Yasuchiyo Doi, which shows daily gain of 0.78 kg, BMS +3.8, Ribeye Area of 46 cm2.
Suzutani is the dam of some of the top “second-generation” carcass bulls including Sanjiro (Michifuku / Suzutani) and Shigeshigetani (Haruki 2 / Suzutani), as well as several popular donor cows that have produced numerous offspring, so she shows up in the pedigree of many Wagyu outside Japan.