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The Most Important Decision
When Buying Koi Is
Who and Where
They Come From… Period!
Kawarimono is a broad classification used for a wide variety of non metallic Koi that don't fit into other classes. Some examples are breeds of their own, while others display "one-
However, Kawarimono is by no means a dumping ground for the oddities of the Koi world. There is no place in this classification (or anywhere else) for sub-
For convenience, varieties in Kawarimono can be separated into three groups:
Some are readily available, but others are not bred intentionally -
Shiro Muji: Shiro Muji are also products of Kohaku spawning's, but this time the hi is absent. These all white fish are normally culled out, but occasionally one with exceptional skin quality is kept back and raised. Albinos, with red eyes, are sought-
Kigoi: Kigoi are Koi of a uniform lemon yellow or citrus orange, and quite an old variety. When the metallic Ogon's first appeared, these Koi lost popularity, but are now staging a comeback. Two types are available: leucistic (with black eyes) and true, red-
In Magoi, the scales are actually deep bronze, but the fish appear black when viewed from above. Magoi are not recognized as true Koi by some show organizers, but that does not stop them from being kept. Free of the stunting effects that can arise from selective breeding for color or pattern, these fish can become huge. For that reason, Magoi blood is being reintroduced into some Go Sanke bloodlines to speed and maximize growth.
Chagoi: Chagoi are uniform brown Koi. The word "Cha", derived from the Kawarimono Chinese/Japanese word for tea, describes the color of this breed. They are noted for two distinct qualities: their capacity to grow very large and their extreme friendliness. Introducing a Chagoi to a pond full of nervous Koi has a calming effect, speeding up the hand-
For more information about the “Friendly Koi” click here.
Soragoi & Ochiba Shigure:
Soragoi are plain blue-
Black Koi Breeds:
The Karasu, meaning crow in Japanese, is a very old variety with black fins, a black body and a white or orange belly. The very similar Hajiro is a black Koi with a white nose and white-
is an oddity, in that the distribution of black and white areas changes according to the seasons and the temperature of the water in which it is kept. However, this does not amount to a complete reversal of pattern. The Koi can turn completely black or completely white under some circumstances, but can display interesting shadowy sumi in the transition period.
It's hard to believe, but these two photos are of the same Koi! Kumonryu are known to change their coloring with the seasons. They're like having two Koi in one.
Kumonryu, which fist appeared in the 1980’s, is the most popular of all black Koi derivatives in Kawarimono. The name means "dragon fish" and is applied to these Koi because their markings are reminiscent of the coiled bodies of these mythical beasts as depicted in Oriental paintings.
Kumonryu are always Doitsu, sharpening the contrast between the white and black on the body. Patterning can be highly variable; the best examples show large, wavy-
Matsuba, or Matsubagoi, are most commonly bred as metallic fish, and benched in Hikarimono. The reticulated scalation is counted as only one color by the Japanese. However, matt-
Ki Matsuba are most often seen in their Doitsu form, and resemble a Shusui in which the red and blue skin is replaced by yellow. The white equivalent is the rare Shiro Matsuba.
Midorigoi are green Doitsu Koi, the only variety to show this color. The actual shade is more of a translucent greenish yellow, while the mirror scales can be black or silver. These fish originally resulted from a cross between a Shusui and a Yamabuki Ogon. The only variety likely to be confused with them is the Doitsu Ki Matsuba. Crossings between Shusui and Midorigoi occasionally throw up the rare Enyu, a purplish Koi with hi markings.