Remove the black pattern from a Showa and you are left with a good Kohaku pattern, or so the saying goes.

I’ve no idea where the saying came from but I think arguably, of all the great Showa, the rule of thumb falls somewhat short of being the case.

Take Sakura for example, Grand Champion at the 2007 All Japan Koi Show, for my money the best Showa I have ever seen, and without question one of the top 2 best Koi I have ever seen.

2007 Grand Champion Sakura Bred by Dainichi

2007 Grand Champion
Sakura
Bred by Dainichi

Take away the black and you are left with a slight red pattern with almost nothing at the rear half.

The other half of the rule of thumb about removing the red and being left with a good Shiro Utsuri doesn’t really work either, does it?  We would be left with a quite busy black and white back half and a sparse one sided front half.

Dainichi Koi Farm, Showa, Runner up 2015 Niigata Nogyosai

Dainichi Koi Farm, Showa, Runner up 2015 Niigata Nogyosai

The Showa above, also bred by Dainichi, runner up at last year’s Niigata Nogyosai, and tipped by many as GC, again fell into the same mould as ‘Sakura’.


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I wrote about a number of Purdin Koi Farm tosai a few weeks ago – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/01/04/purdin-tosai-selection/.

If you’ve read the above link then you will have noted that there were a distinct lack of Showa tosai highlighted, in fact there are no Showa tosai included in that post at all.

In truth I did photograph quite a few, they didn’t at 6 months fill me with as much anticipation as the other varieties.  That was a shame really because there are several really nice 3 and 4 year old Showa growing in ‘the river’ there at Purdin.

This post was somewhat inspired by seeing a photo of the Dainichi Nogyosai runner up earlier today.  It reminded me principally of the tosai below that I had picked out at Purdin.

Purdin Koi Farm, Tosai, November 2015

Purdin Koi Farm, Tosai, November 2015

This little Showa appeared to have some real nice qualities, the frame was strong, the sumi pattern seemed to be interesting and fall in nice places.  The beni pattern however was completely lacking at the rear half.

Purdin Koi Farm, Tosai, November 2015

Purdin Koi Farm, Tosai, November 2015

This is another example, albeit a bit more extremely front heavy with the red pattern.


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I remember a conversation several years ago with a breeder when we were looking through a number of photographs for a forthcoming auction of Dainichi tosai Showa.  The breeder stated that there were tosai there with patterns that only Dainichi would, or rather more could, keep.  For others they would simply be unsalable, but the strength of the Dainichi brand, and the desire of many to obtain Koi with the right qualities, for example body, sumi, skin, etc, meant that even completely non show patterns could be kept.

Maybe the dream for those 2 Purdin Showa will be over in 6 or 7 weeks when the next round of selection takes place, only time will tell.


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