Do You Know These Japanese Koi Varieties?

  • The koi fish is a popular type of fish in Japanese culture. It traditionally symbolizes wealth, longevity, good luck, bravery, success, perseverance and drive. In a Chinese legend, the koi is said to possess a powerful life force which propelled it to swim upstream through various hurdles to reach the peak of the mountain and then being transformed into a dragon. There are more than 100 varieties of koi and it is hard to say exactly how many there are due to the constant development of new species.

    1. Kohaku

    I am pretty sure you have seen this type of koi before as it is a popular variety. Even the name Kohaku may sound familiar. I believe there is quite a number of anime or manga characters with that name. Now I know where the name is derived from. The word Kohaku means red and white. There is a saying that “the koi hobby begins and ends with Kohaku” due to the popularity of this breed.

    2. -Bekko

    The Bekko variety has random black spots on its body and the rest can be white (Shiro Bekko), red (Aka Bekko) or yellow (Ki Bekko). The Shiro Bekko looks like it has a cow pattern!

    3. Tancho

    The Tancho koi is easy to recognize. It has a red blob pattern on its head. A perfectly round blob pattern is highly sought after.

    4. Butterfly koi (Hirenaga koi)

    The butterfly koi is also known as the dragon koi. It has pretty, long, flowy fins which remind me of the beautiful ancient Chinese maiden clothes.

    5. Kin-gin-rin

    This type of koi has sparkly, metallic scales. In my opinion, it has a truly gold color, unlike the goldfish which is more of an orange tone.

    6. Shusui and Asagi

    Asagi and Shusui are similar in color but the main difference is that Shusui is mostly scaleless.

    7. Hikari Moyo

    The Hikari Moyo koi variety has metallic patterns. Pictured above is the Doitsu Hariwake, which has a rare color combination of yellow and white. Its yellow colour will be more pronounced upon more sun exposure.

    The above are just a few examples of the many koi breeds. Seeing these beautiful fish spark my interest in owning one! The butterfly koi is my favorite due to its graceful and elegant look. I also favor the Tancho as I find the red blob pattern very cute!

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