Dillon, Montana The Rising Sun Meets the Big Sky

After buying a U.S. cattle ranch, a Japanese meat company sends its managers to train in the saddle alongside American cowpokes

At the Lazy 8 ranch outside Dillon, Mont., a handful of tired cowboys shuffle into the calving barn for lunch. Troy Seilbach hangs up his spurs. Charlie Carpenter opens a thermos of coffee, and Blue, a dirty mixed-breed dog with a heavy pant, positions himself for a fallen crumb from one of the cowboys' Baggies-wrapped sandwiches. Emblazoned on the lunchroom's white wall is a hastily drawn map of Japan.

The map is the remnant of the previous week's spontaneous noontime discussion, during which the two newest cowboys -- who hail not from Bozeman or Butte but from Tokyo and Ehime prefecture...

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