If you have one of these Koi, you should know a little about their history. These fish are known for their snow-white bodies and red patterns. Their history dates back to the mid-1800`s.
In the Niigita Prefecture of Japan, a manual on Koi cultivation relates the development of Sarasa, which is a white carp with red markings on its head and cross-breeding the Magoi, which is a wild black carp, with a Higoi, which is a red carp and Shirigoi, which is a white carp.
There are others that think these fish were produced from cross-breeding the red-headed Narumi Asagis, which is a breed of blue-netted Koi and Magoi, the wild black carp.
However it happened, the Sarasa developed into the “Gosuke Sarasa” in 1889 because of the work of breeder Kunizou Hiroi or also called Utogi ni Gosuke ( Utogi from the farm of Gosuke). This Gosuke bloodline is where ALL Kohaku Koi have descended from since. The criteria for determining the quality of Kohaku Koi comes from the characteristics of its “hi” ( red markings).
These markings should be uniform in color and have well-defined edges that don`t bleed or fade into the white. It is extremely vital that in ALL Koi, the “hi” is well formed and does not have bits of white in them, plus it should be distributed artistically and needs to make up one-half to two-thirds of the Kohaku`s color. Even though the “hi” need not be symmetrical on a Kohaku, it should be balanced, being neither top or bottom heavy. as per www.articlecity.com
The “hi” is also exhibited in ‘steps’ or consecutive right-left-right red spots on the fish`s back, the more ‘steps’ they have, the more prized it is. Furthermore, Nidan is a two-stepped pattern, Sandan is third, Shindan is fourth and an even better ‘stepped’ pattern is Godan or fifth-stepped.
Then there is ‘hi” that does not occur in several separate patches, but comes in an “Ippon-hi” or a large continuous red pattern. Interesting patterns are formed, like “Inazuma” which is a lightning bolt of red running from head to tail or a “Straight Hi” , which is a continuous red stroke that runs straight from head to tail. For more info, you can visit: www.learnkoifish.com
Image source en.wikipedia.org used with permission
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