This is probably the most diverse Koi variety known. Goshiki, meaning "five colored" in Japanese, are said to be five-colored Koi, although sometimes you'd be hard pressed to pick out the red, black, white, light blue, and dark blue color tones that are said to be available. Even further, a sixth color - purple - is formed when black and blue overlay one another.
Goshiki have strong Asagi lineage, which lends a reticulation to some or all of the scales. The traditional Goshiki is a rather dark fish, with messy, indistinct patterning, sometimes relieved by clear patches of hi, especially on the face and back. Others look like straight Kohaku and Asagi crosses, with a black, netlike reticulation covering the whole body. Certain examples of Goshiki can be absolutely breath-taking.
Gin-Rin Goshiki and Doitsu Goshiki add even more complexity to an already fathomless variety. Because the appearance of the reflective scales is influenced by the skin colors beneath, they can appear gold, silver, or bluish gray in a good Gin-Rin Goshiki. Often these combine in a single fish and the effect is almost unreal.
Koromo, meaning "robed" in Japanese, describes a group of Koi whose quiet elegance finds favor with connoisseurs, even though this breed of Koi did not become available until the early 1950s. Koromo are crossbred fish; the first example resulted from a spawning between a male Kohaku and a female Narumi Asagi. The collective name "Koromo" covers several varieties, the best known being Ai Goromo.
Goromo - Ai Goromo
This is a white Koi with the hi pattern similar to Kohaku, but each red scale is edged in black or dark blue, reminiscent of their Asagi ancestry. Good Ai Goromo are judged much like good Kohaku, with all the qualities expected of that variety: snow-white skin, deep crimson hi, and an interesting traditional or modern pattern. The dark lining along the scales appears only faintly when the Koi is young and may take years to come out fully. Too much sumi early in life is an indication that this color will eventually overwhelm the Koi. But in mature Koi, the sumi should be evenly distributed over all patches of hi, with the exception of the head.
Budo Goromo like the one to the right, share many of the same qualities as Ai Goromo. The main difference being the scalage of the Hi pattern. Unlike Ai Goromo, where red scales are edged with black or dark blue, the red scales on Budo Goromo are overlain with a deep color resulting in a purplish appearance. Budo Goromo do share the pure white skin recognized on Ai Goromo. The leading edges (kiwa) show individual scales picked out against the white skin, which gave this Koi breed the name Budo, Japanese for grapes. However, once again, if sumi migrates on to the white areas of skin, a Budo Goromo becomes a Goshiki.
Under close observation, it is quite simple to tell the difference between
the two Goromo sub varieties.
Ai Goromo (on the left) Budo Goromo (on the right)
From a classification point of view, it is important that the black/dark blue color does not intrude into the white areas. If it does, the fish is no longer an Ai Goromo, but becomes a Goshiki. This extremely variable variety is now grouped in Koromo in the West, but still judged in Kawarimono in Japan. Many apparently good-quality baby Ai Goromo develop into Goshiki, which are in no way inferior Koi; it was purely to avoid benching disputes in borderline cases that Goshiki went into Koromo.