Ever since arriving in Japan I’ve been excited about today’s Shintaro nisai harvests, the 2 best ponds of nisai, Koi which were first featured as part of Niigata Seasons Summer – http://store.nishikigoi.tv/product/niigata-seasons-summer/

Since I’ve been here I’ve spent many hours at the ponds watching the Koi, sunrise and sunset.  The video below shows the Koi that were due to be harvested today having one of their last feeds.  You can see photos of some of these Koi later in the post.

When I arrived at the mud ponds at around 8am this morning it was a truly beautiful morning the sun rising into the clear blue sky.

The water of the first mudpond, that in the video above, was just around 30cm deep and really quite clear, the Koi clearly visible, the morning sun casting their shadows onto the muddy pond bottom.

Shintaro nisai Koi awaiting harvest in drained mud pond

Shintaro nisai Koi awaiting harvest in drained mud pond

Shintaro nisai Koi awaiting harvest in drained mud pond

Shintaro nisai Koi awaiting harvest in drained mud pond

The Koi were released to these ponds on 25th May, 144 days ago, you can see video of some of the Showa which were released here – http://niigata-nishikigoi.com/content/shintaro-tategoi-tosai-showa-go-mudponds


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Indeed we also covered them back here when they were harvested – http://niigata-nishikigoi.com/content/shintaro-koi-farm-tosai-harvests

Anyway, today was there harvest day, and a great day it has been, including a little bit of drama, that will be a separate post though.

As always, most pictures self explanatory.

Masaru Saito netting pond of nisai Koi

Masaru Saito netting pond of nisai Koi

Masaru Saito netting pond of nisai Koi

Masaru Saito netting pond of nisai Koi

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

Sometimes the pros drop them

Sometimes the pros drop them

Second time lucky

Second time lucky

We’ll see this one later on in the post.

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

When Hiromi san arrived at the pond this morning she had two ‘strangers’ with her, although I had seen them in Torazo the previous day.  We greeted each other and then got on with the harvest.  As the morning progressed the conversation and banter between all present continued.

However, it wasn’t until lunchtime that the penny finally dropped.


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Back in 2003 Ralph Oduber had spent 1 month working with Saito san.  A customer of Waddy at Infiltration, I remembered following this on the old Nishikigoi International bulletin board.

As we chatted I explained how buying a home, getting married, etc. had temporarily distracted my love of Koi.

Ralph is currently touring Japan with his girlfriend Tanya and couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a few days in Yamakoshi where he had spent time before.  His teenage passion for Nishikigoi has taken a back seat, much as mine did, however, I think that fire that was simmering inside fully re-ignited today.

Ralph Oduber from Holland carrying Koi up the bank

Ralph Oduber from Holland carrying Koi up the bank

I love nothing better than getting my hands wet with Koi, sadly cameras and water don’t mix, and too often I have to choose picking up a camera to a Koi.  As with previous Shintaro harvests I took the role of lifting Koi from bowl to transport tank.  A huge thanks to Tanya for taking these pictures and sending them to me.

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Hands on with Koi, what I love the best

Was a real pleasure to spend time with both Ralph and Tanya today, thank you both if you read this.

Below Saito san nets the second pond, the pond of Showa.  Again pictures and captions self explanatory.


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Masaru Saito netting pond of nisai Koi

Masaru Saito netting pond of nisai Koi

Tony Sang Oldy and Hiromi Saito hold net and Masaru Saito pulls bottom rope in

Tony Sang Oldy and Hiromi Saito hold net and Masaru Saito pulls bottom rope in

A leap for freedom

A leap for freedom

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

Masaru Saito picking up Koi

I wrote previously about picking Koi up and identifying them as males – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/10/10/shintaro-koi-farm-nisai-harvests-day-1-part-2/

Three Koi below that I picked up soon identified as males, Koi for obvious reasons that Saito san had wanted to be female.  Sex aside, the quality of all 3 Koi is superb.  For years the ‘is it female’ question had driven me mad.  The quality of the Koi below is way beyond what most could afford if female yet hobbyists, maybe dealers, are blinkered by sex!  I have a post coming about this. In just a few days I believe I’ve photographed a collection of Koi, Gosanke, that should blow your mind away, but all are male!

Males

Males

That shoulder sumi so beautifully placed, skin so beautiful.

Shoulder sumi

Shoulder sumi

Masaru Saito sorting nisai Koi

Masaru Saito sorting nisai Koi

We’ve seen this Sanke above, and you can see it again below in full pose.

Masaru Saito sorting nisai Koi

Masaru Saito sorting nisai Koi

In this post – http://niigata-nishikigoi.com/content/shintaro-tategoi-tosai-showa-go-mudponds –  I wrote, ‘The bottom video has a Koi which 4 weeks ago continually caught my attention in the concrete pond, at the start of the video it is at the very bottom edge of the screen’.

You see that video below:


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Today that Showa emerged as perhaps the number 1, although the sumi has somewhat dropped in the mud pond.  Now 55cm.

Nisai Shintaro Showa

Nisai Shintaro Showa

A selection of other Shintaro nisai harvested today.

Nisai Shintaro Sanke

Nisai Shintaro Sanke

Nisai Shintaro Showa

Nisai Shintaro Showa

Nisai Shintaro Showa

Nisai Shintaro Showa

Nisai Shintaro Sanke

Nisai Shintaro Sanke

Nisai Shintaro Sanke

Nisai Shintaro Sanke

Cream of the crop?  This Kohaku appears in the feeding video above, also in the ‘pre harvest’ pictures.  Let’s just stay it stood out before the harvest, and it didn’t disappoint.  Truly superb Kohaku, 55cm on the nail, perfect for this autumn’s Koi shows in 55bu class.

Nisai Shintaro Kohaku

Nisai Shintaro Kohaku

Long ago Shintaro Koi Farm was given the tagline, ‘Maker of Dreams’, that beautiful Kindai Showa above makes some of my dreams become reality, to be part of that Koi excites me, refuels my dream.  There were disappointments too, again, they also refuel my dream, make me reflect and make me want to be a Koi breeder ever more strongly.


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