Out of the three types of Koi that are recognized as Bekko, only one - the Shiro Bekko - is widely known. This is a Sanke derivative, and as the Shiro Utsuri is a Showa derivative without the hi, Shiro Bekko are Sanke also without any hi markings. Although they are still produced from parent fish of this variety, they are just as likely to be seen from spawning's of Sanke, especially Tancho Sanke. Bear in mind that any hi at all on a Shiro Bekko, even on the lips, technically makes it a Sanke.
The sumi on Shiro Bekko has evolved fashionably in line with that of Sanke. Ten years ago, examples would have had a fairly heavy
About 30 years ago, when Koi keeping began to take off outside of Japan, the Bekko variety was quite fashionable, but like most fads, the popularity of this Koi diminished over time and their popularity has begun to diminish and nowadays the breed is quite underrepresented at most shows. Though they may be hard to find, good specimens are truly stunning in their simplicity and beauty.
Aka Bekko, never to be referred to as Hi Bekko, are red Koi with Bekko sumi markings. Ideally, the body of Aka Bekko should be a scarlet red hi, overlain with deep sumi and offset with pure white or clear finnage, altogether creating a rather striking effect. The only Koi likely to be confused with Aka Bekko are Aka Sanke; the singular difference being that Aka Sanke show white areas on the body when viewed from above. Aka Bekko are allowed some hi in the finnage, which tends to appear in blotches rather than stripes, although pure white pectoral fins are most pleasing.
Ki Bekko are the rarest Koi in the group, and sport a lemon-yellow body overlain with sumi. They are not a variety deliberately spawned, but may arise from Shiro Bekko, Kigoi or Sanke crosses. Curiously, the metallic equivalent of a Ki Bekko (known as a Tora, or Tiger, Ogon) is quite commonly seen.
Doitsu Bekko can be completely “scaleless” or have a few “Mirror” scales on either side of the dorsal fin.
complement of tortoiseshell dappling, whereas today the sumi tends to be more sparsely distributed in smaller, yet balanced patches. It should be confined to the area above the lateral line, on the top side of the Koi.
The judging standard now permits a little sumi on the head, as in Sanke, but the best examples have a clear white face, with the black markings beginning at the shoulder. A commonly seen default is a yellowish head, which may or may not clear as the Koi ages. Like Kohaku and Sanke, the eyes are usually blue and the skin should be an even snowy white. Sumi patterning need not be symmetrical, but should be balanced overall. If the sumi is confined to one side of the Koi, the effect is not pleasing. Avoid Bekko with too much sumi on the caudal peduncle. Ideally, as in Kohaku, there should be an area of white at the junction of body and tail fin. Shiro Bekko finnage can either be white or striped with sumi, similar to that of Sanke.