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There is a Koi show called Nogyosai once a year (the end of October) in Niigata where all the breeders will enter their Koi. This is one of the three biggest Koi shows and very authoritative. It is Kin Kikokuryu of Mr. Seiki Igarashi that obtained the most attention at the Nogyosai 2000.

Mr. Seiki Igarashi created Kin Kikokuryu.

Mr. Seiki Igarashi and
Mamoru Kodama,chairman of Miyoshiike
Mr. Seiki Igarashi and Mamoru Kodama,chairman of Miyoshiike

Mr. Seiki Igarashi and
Mamoru Kodama,chairman of Miyoshiike

Ojiya city is the center of Nishikigoi breeding. Mr.Igarashi has his big farm deep in the mountains about 10 miles away from Ojiya city. He breeds many varieties including Gosanke (Kohaku, Sanke and Showa.) He started breeding Koi with his father, Yoshiichi, when he was 17 years old in 1966. Now he has 35 years of- breeding experience. When he started Koi breeding, there were about 6000 breeders in Niigata, but now there are only 200. This means Nishikigoi has been an artwork. If you were not able to breed more beautiful Nishikigoi than anybody else, nobody would buy your Koi and you could not survive. Mr. Igarashi has been working hard in this competitive world.

To be recognized as Nishikigoi breeder, there are only two ways: either you breed the most beautiful Nishikigoi or you created a new variety that nobody has ever bred. Some 32 years after he started breeding Nishikigoi, he became recognized as an authority by completing “Kin Kikokuryu.” Now let’s have a closer look at Kin Kikokuryu that he finally completed.

What is Kin Kikokuryu,
Kin Kikokuryu originated from Karasugoi. Through all the process of Magoi , Karasugoi , Hajiro , Doitsu Hajiro , Kumonryu , Kikokuryu, Kin Kikokuryu was finally completed. In this process, every variety is indispensable. For example, though nobody knows who developed Karasugoi from Magoi, if he did not succeed in the completion, the variety of Kin Kikokuryu would never be developed. Koi breeders realize their duty and make efforts while respecting the great achievements of their seniors. We must understand that the stupendously long period and breeders’ efforts make beautiful Nishikigoi possible.

Kin Kikokuryu of Mr. Igarashi
Kin Kikokukryu (pic 1) was entered at the 40th Nogyosai in 2000 and astonished and impressed everyone. The mysterious beauty consisted of shinning tanned pattern on the skin of Nezu Ogon was unforgettably beautiful. Because it has the blood of Karasugoi, it has Sumi on the entire body including mouth, head and fins. That creates the stout and distinguished atomosphere. Also, because of the Sumi , the Hi pattern looks shinning tanned and matches well with the skin of Nezu Ogon. The pattern is three steps. It is a wonderful design. The high level pattern and grave-looking is highly appreciated.

Also, it is interesting that his Kin Kikokuryu has different versions even if they are brothers and sisters. They are categorized into six groups. The first type is (A). This is Kikokuryu. Because Kin Kikokuryu was developed based on Kikokuryu, it is natural that Kikokuryu appears. What is unique is that type (B) appeared. This is the point of Igarashi’s Kin Kikokuryu. In other words, we can summarize that Igarashi Kin Kikokuryu is type (A) and type (B) mixed in various versions. Please look at type (D). It is obvious that it has the characteristics of both type (A) and (B). And when it loses shine, type (E) appears. They are beautiful. The Japanese Koi hobbyists like this kind of Koi that has the atomasphere of “Sabi.” ( Koi that is not gorgeous but rather quiet and still beautiful.) Type (E) and (F) are what Mr. Igarashi tries to breed.

Like this, his Kin Kikokuryu are categorized into mainly 6 groups. One of the reasons of the popularity is that Kin Kikokuryu has various versions and gives the hobbyists choices.
*(Pic1)Mr. Igarashi’s Kin Kikokuryu caused a big sensation in Nishikigoi world. )M

Now let me look at each type in details.

Type (A) Kikokuryu
It is common sense that Sumi does not appear well on platinum body. But Mr. Igarashi’s Koi has strong Sumi on the platinum body. Sumi and platinum are divided clearly. This is ideal. The tips of pectoral fins shin well. You may wonder why Kikokuryu come out of Kin Kikokuryu. To tell the truth, because he uses Kikokuryu as a male parent, this makes sense.

Type (B) Kin Kikokuryu
This is the very new type in Koi world. It is very mysterious how this type of Koi appeared, but Mr. Igarashi made the mystery realized. It is a very interesting type and we expect many beautiful Koi will be developed from this type.

Type (C ) Kin Kikokuryu
This is the type of mixing type (A) and (B). As Mr. Matsuo put Hi on Kumonryu to create Beni Kumonryu by mixing Kohaku and Kumonryu, Mr. Igarashi tried to put Hi on Kikokuryu. Because Kikokuryu is a metallic Koi, it was difficult to put good Hi and Sumi. And after a lot of efforts, he finally succeeded in putting good Hi and Sumi. Originating from this type, beautiful Kin Kikokuryu has been bred.

Type (D) Momiji
This is type (C ) without shine. Mr. Igarashi named it “Momiji.” It has various colors from yellow to red just like autumn tints (eMomiji’ in Japanese). This is an interesting and attractive Koi to Koi collectors. At Koi shows, it will go under the category of Kawarimono.

Type (E) Kin Kikokuryu
Type (C ) has mainly one large step. In type (E), the pattern becomes more refined. The pattern is as important as in the other varieties. Two Koi in the picture both have good pattern. This coloration may look weak, but it is what this type originally has. So this is OK. Also, Sumi appears on the entire body from its head to tail section. This is an important factor of this variety. Please remember this as the characteristic of Kin Kikokuryu. This type sometimes looks very similar to Kujyaku, but this Sumi is the clue to tell them apart.

Type (F) Kin Kikokuryu
This type resembles Kujyaku very much. But in a closer look, the entire body has Sumi unlike Kujyaku. Hi coloration is beautiful. The pattern is excellent. Among the two Koi in the picture, the one on the right has better pattern. Then, how about with Picture 1. The picture (F) has better designed pattern. But Picture 1 has stronger Sumi on the body like face and pectoral fins and emphasizes the character of picture 1. Therefore, Picture 1 is better. At Koi shows, we judge not only the beauty but also characters that the variety originally has. Among the two Koi, though Koi (F) has better pattern, Picture 1 shows the character of Kin Kikokuryu better.