Copyright© 2014 -
Call (352) 357-
The Most Important Decision
When Buying Koi Is
Who and Where
They Come From… Period!
Hikarimoyo are subdivided into a number of breeds. Hariwake are two-
The aristocrat of Hikarimoyo is the metallic Sanke known as Yamatonishiki. This variety came on to the market in the 1960s from two distinct sources, the first breeder being Seikichi Hoshino, who took 15 years to develop it. The complex process involved an initial cross between an Asagi and a Kin Kabuto and subsequent introductions of Sakura Ogon blood. A similar fish -
Metallic skin in Hikarimoyo koi can dull the underlying colors because the light is diffused through them. This results in sumi appearing dark gray rather than black, and red becoming more orange. However, in Yamatonishiki this is compensated for by the platinum skin and finnage, which may or may not carry Sanke-
Kujaku, or Kujaku Ogon as they are still sometimes known, are highly regarded by the Japanese, as the patterning on a good specimen can rival that of Go Sanke. Like Goshiki, they are said to be five-
Doitsu Kujaku are sometimes mistaken for Ginsui and Kinsui. However, in the German-
Another new variety yet to establish itself is the Heisei Nishiki, bred by Hiroi of Iwamagi. Heisei is the era of the Emperor Akahito, following on from the Showa era. The fish resembles a Yamatonishiki, except that the sumi markings are more Showa than Sanke type. However, it is not a full Kin Showa; otherwise the fish would have to be benched Hikariutsuri.
A Shochikubai is a metallic Ai Goromo, a variety not often seen. The higher the metallic luster, the more likely the reticulated hi is to appear brown, but this only lends a dignified appearance to this rare fish.
Gin Bekko (not to be confused with Gin-
While Ogon, Kin and Gin Matsuba fall into the Hikarimono classification, any metallic Koi that shows two or more colors is classified as Hikarimoyo. Many Hikarimoyo breeds have been developed from crosses between different Hikarimono Koi.
Hikarimoyo are truly breath-
Kohaku of the Hikarimoyo are known either as Platinum Kohaku or Sakura Ogon, sakura meaning "cherry blossom" in Japanese. The distinction between them used to be drawn on the basis that in the latter, the hi patterning resembled that of a Kanoko Kohaku (namely dappled), while Platinum Kohaku displayed more traditional hi. A more accurate assessment would be that Sakura Ogon show a more flowery pattern -
The Doitsu version of the Sakura Ogon is known as a Kikusui ("water chrysanthemum"), a platinum fish with orange overlay running in wavy lines on either side of the dorsal fin or else placed in traditional Kohaku manner. Orenji Hariwake Doitsu is an old-
Hariwake are derived from Ogon or Ogon Matsuba lineage and display two metallic colors -
Ideally, fully scaled Yamabuki and Orenji Hariwake should have clear platinum heads, although if the second color intrudes it is not a disaster. The nicest examples show a lot of metallic white on the body, but others have only small areas of this platinum skin. As in Hikarimono, the scales should convey a three-
Doitsu Hariwake often fall down on the positioning of the mirror scales, which as in all other Doitsu Koi, should be bilaterally symmetrical and evenly spaced. Many examples show coarse scalation all over the caudal peduncle, while in others, the scales are overly large, with an armored appearance. Look beyond the overt appeal of these fish to be sure of acquiring a good specimen.
Fully scaled Hariwake Matsuba are virtually indistinguishable from Kujaku. The dark pinecone insertion point to each scale is toned down because of the metallic overlay. Hariwake Matsuba Doitsu are another matter, because the dark scales are only those along the back and flanks. No other sumi appears on the platinum/yellow body. These fish give a very clear-
The Hariwake Tora Ogon is a Yamabuki Hariwake with Bekko sumi, a straight cross between these varieties. The plain Tora Ogon is a Shiro Bekko and Yamabuki Ogon cross and not, as has been suggested, a metallic Ki Bekko.
New Koi varieties are being developed all the time, and a recent recruit to Hikarimoyo is the Kikokuryu. Always Doitsu, and metallic, these fish display a head pattern not unlike that of a ghost Koi or the helmet of those proto-
Here's an example of how certain Koi can change in color and pattern as the years bear on. The photo on the left is a picture of a Blackwater Kikokuryu in 2005. On the right is the same exact Koi, 2 years later.