Before I start this post I would like to say a huge thank you to people for the very kind comments that have been made on Facebook, various forums and in personal messages regarding the posts made thus far this harvest season, your feedback is much appreciated and makes the work and effort in trying to bring you something special all worthwhile.

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OK, on with this post which is the first of several I hope I can fit in tonight to break it into manageable chunks.

For the last week or so the harvest season has been gathering pace, like race cars on a warm up lap.  Today it seems that the light has turned green and things are GO, GO, GO!!

There is action everywhere, harvests are in full swing, and buyers are here in numbers all of a sudden, and damn it’s exciting!!

Ironically today is a national holiday in Japan, it certainly wasn’t a holiday here for anyone!


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Today’s weather forecast was for rain.  When I awoke at 6am I peeled back the curtain expecting a grey sky and water drops on the window, instead I was confronted by a blue sky and warm glow of morning sunshine.  My initial expectation of rolling back into bed for an hour or 2 dissipated and I hotfooted it to the shower instead ready to go and find some mountain action.

As so often the case, particularly when the previous day has been wet, the Kawaguchi area was shrouded in mist so that was the way I headed from the hotel.

I knew Shintaro had started draining one of the 2 best nisai ponds the previous day so I visited that to see the depth and whether it was likely to be harvested today, I can’t wait to see the Koi from there.  It was too deep still to harvest so that was off my agenda.  I knew that Yagenji were due to harvest so I headed from Kawaguchi to Mushigame, via Shiodani.

The scene below caught my eye as I did, it seemed to encapsulate so much of harvest season in one picture.  A tractor ploughing a harvested rice field, a half drained mud pond, the propped up pan net, a drag net on trolley and the probably now unused auto feeder.

Harvest season

Harvest season

The pond below is the one being harvested by Yagenji, one of several that are situated on the way up Kanagura Yama from Mushigame.  I will post more about the harvest later, but what a lovely morning for it.

Yagenji sansai and yonsai pond

Yagenji sansai and yonsai pond

Koi breeder’s wives, the unsung heroes of the Koi industry.  And I’m in love with this Showa, I want her bad!


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Noriki Ishihara lifting a Showa

Noriki Ishihara lifting a Showa

Daisuke Ishihara’s wife above, and his father below, fixtures at every Yagenji harvested.  A penny for his thoughts as here peers under the cover of the tank on the back of the truck.  Later I’ll post some of the harvest highlights including that Showa above and explain why I love it.

Yaichi Ishihara checks harvest

Yaichi Ishihara checks harvest

The Yagenji brothers have always been so accommodating to me photographing Koi, they learned long ago the power of showing there stocks on this site, always the phone will ring with purchase enquirers.

Showa proving uncooperative

Showa proving uncooperative

Kim Cloet of Kim’s Koi, a site advertiser, one of the many dealers and old friends I bumped into for the first time this year, popped into Yagenji.

Kim Cloet of Kim's Koi and Daisuke Ishihara

Kim Cloet of Kim’s Koi and Daisuke Ishihara

Isa Koi Farm had one of their big nisai harvests today, as is their annual schedule as long as I’ve known.  It is testimony to their Koi production how popular this event was today, the Koi house was full.  Again, more to follow.

Mitsunori Isa with newly harvested nisai Showa

Mitsunori Isa with newly harvested nisai Showa

The day ended with a surprise harvest at Koda Koi Farm.  A whole different world to the Isa fish, but Koi which are so popular with very good reason, not everything and everyone is about jumbo Koi.

Koda Koi Farm nisai

Koda Koi Farm nisai

So, lots more to come this evening, and the days are going to get busier and busier…..


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