Showa are one of the Gosanke or "Big 3" koi fish along with Taisho Sanke and Kohaku koi. Showa are beautiful koi, with colors of white, red, and black painted across their bodies the same way that a Japanese brush drawing suggests artistic interpretation without every stroke being complete. The beauty of these fish stir our emotions with it's exquisite combination of colors.


How to Judge Showa

Before 1975, Showa were represented by the lineage of Kobayashi Showa. On the whole, these Showa had a lot of Sumi (black) and very little Shiroji (white). The Sumi and Hi (red) regularly overlapped each other. Because of the large amount of Sumi, the impression was of tremendous power. Some breeders were not satisfied with Kobayashi Showa, because they felt that the same Sumi that gave a feeling of power also lacked in beauty. This is why they developed the "new" or Kindai Showa. Kindai Showa are characterized by the separation of Hi and Sumi. They should harmonize to create a bright impression.

In Showa, the Sumi design of the tail section is important. At the tail section, Sumi or Hi must end on pure white background, and the line between the color and the Shiroji is called the Odome. The lack of real Shiroji after the Odome can be considerd a major fault. Sumi on the pectoral fins is a major attribute of Showa. Beautiful pectoral fins are extremely rare.

Because the face is the most appealing part of its beauty, it is important that the white, Sumi and Hi harmonize to create a beautiful design without interrupting each other.

How To Know If It Is Showa Sanshoku

The Sanshoku varieties have 3 colors: white, red, and black. 

There are two varieties “Taisho Sanshoku” and “Showa Sanshoku”. As the name “Sanshoku” signifies 3 colors in Japanese, both Sanshoku are tri-colored Koi. However, they needed to be distinguished because these 2 varieties had different pattern and background. Sanke do not usually have black on their heads.

It is recorded that the Showa Sanshoku was created by Shigekichi Hoshino in Takesawa village for the first time, and the Showa was developed from a lineage of Magoi (Black Koi). Both have a pattern that is composed by white, black, and red, but you can identify these 2 varieties if you see when they are baby fry,

The fry of Showa Sanshoku has black color on their bodies while the Taisho Sanshoku are born with pinkish colored bodies. If you mate two Showa, you get almost 70% of pink fry and only 30% of black fry. Koi fish produce 400,000 of fry at one spawning, and pink fry become Kohaku and black fry become Showa. This is the hardest part of Showa breeders because to sort out 400k fish, it requires so much patience and concentration.

We have Showa koi available to buy if shown below the search field. If not, please contact us with what you are looking for and we will help find the right koi for you.

Top-tier Showa example

Search All Our Available Koi

Search by breeder

Search by price type

Showing 1–16 of 78 results

Can't find the koi you're looking for? Click here to use our koi request form

Request the Koi of Your Dreams

What can we help you find?

Let us know more about what you are searching for and we will look into our inventory to help you find the perfect koi. Tell us a description, variety, size range, and price range you are searching for.

We have a large stock of koi that are not listed on our website and we can also look when we are visiting Niigata, Japan. Complete this form and we will follow up with you directly.


Koi Request Form