Channel Island cattle in Japan
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Channel Island cattle in Japan

In 1876  Horace Capron and William Clark from Massachusetts in U.S. were invited to Japan to set up the Sapporo Agricultural College [From 1918 part of Hokkaido Imperial University]. The Japanese government sought during this period actively  the contributions of foreign experts. Japan was changing from a feudal state to a modern country with open borders.

In 1888, the Sapporo Agricultural College  imported from the United States two bulls and twenty heifers [of the Guernsey breed], selected in twos or threes from each of a number of prominent herds. This was before the discovery of the tuberculin test, and unfortunately some of these animals had tuberculosis, which eventually destroyed the whole herd and put an end to Guernsey business in Japan.
The Guernsey cattle in Japan [Charles Hill: The Guernsey Breed. 1917]

Japan, some twenty or more years ago, had a Jersey cattle association, which issued at least one volume of a herd book, but it exist no longer. The law in Japan did not require more than three per cent fat in market milk, and this did not encourage the keeping of cows giving rich milk. Several years ago Dr. Issa Tanimura came to the United States and obtained a number of Jerseys, contributions from American breeders, took them to Japan and placed them on his farm, which adjoined that of the Emperor, who was taken to see them, admired them, and bought them for the Imperial Stock Farm, where their descendants still are. In 1919 the Mitsui family, leaders of many of the business enterprises of Japan, started a dairy to supply the family with good milk. In 1927 three Jerseys, purchased on the Island of Jersey from Mr. Johan A. Perrée, were shipped to this dairy via the Suez Canal, and reached their destination in good condition. At latest reports (1935) there are twelve Jerseys in the Mitsui herd.

Headlines and introduction to the Story of  the Jersey in Japan, published in a leading newspaper of Japan [R.M. Gow. 1938]

The Imperial Stock Farm at Sanrizuka, Shimosa , under the Department of the Imperial Household, was established in 1875 for the breeding of cattle, sheep and horses. The farm comprises 3.610 acres. In 1877 the dairy cattle on this farm consisted of fifteen Shorthorns and eight Devons; in 1889 some Holsteins were brought from Holland and some Ayrshires and Guernseys from Hokkaido; in 1900 some Ayrshires were imported from Scotland and Brown Swiss from Switzerland; in 19o8 some Holsteins and Ayrshires were  imported; in 1919 a number of Jerseys were brought from the United States. Now at the Imperial Stock Farm the Jerseys are the principal breed, supplemented by some Holsteins. All the other  breeds have been eliminated. The fourteen Jersey cows in milk at the Imperial Farm average 15.32 lbs milk per head per day, the average butter-fat content is five per cent. The weights of feed per head per day are 4.6 lbs. oats, 4.6 lbs. corn, 1.4 lbs. rice bran, 1.4 lbs. bean cake, 0.8 lb. linseed cake, a grain average of 12.8 lbs. per head per day, costing 50 sen, or 14½ cents, per head.
The number of Jerseys kept by seven establishments in Japan are: Imperial Stud, 28; Kozu Farm, 150; Sakagawa Milk House, 20, Mitsui Dairy, 12, Nakao Dairy, 3; Kamishiro Dairy, 2, Sumikura Dairy, 2; total 217. Animal husbandry in Japan is in a very early state of development, and cannot be compared to what it is in Western countries.
Jersey cattle in Japan [R.M.Gow: The Jersey. N.Y. 1938]
The total number of Jersey cattle after the World War II in Japan was 150. In the mid 1950s a new importation took place from Australia, New Zealand and U.S. sidst opdateret 29-09-00