I guess that almost everyone reading this will be familiar with the term ‘ikeage’, the term used for harvesting ponds in autumn time.
The opposite to ikeage is ‘ikeire’, meaning to put the Koi in the mud pond.
This morning Yagenji Koi Farm were busy releasing some of their best nisai and sansai tategoi. The pond they were to go into was the exact same pond we covered the harvest of last year – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/10/13/yagenji-sansai-and-yonsai-harvest/. A number of those Koi are now swimming in Yagenji’s number 1 mud pond which will be the subject of a later post.
In the Koi house Daisuke Ishihara was netting the Koi to be released, some Koi photographed for identification because they were already owned by customers and being left as azukari, others the farms tategoi.
If you’ve viewed the harvest link above you will already have seen Daisuke’s wife, Noriko, helping out at the harvest, today she had the task of carrying each Koi to the truck outside. Bending down like that and lifting a sockful of water is not easy work, they make the women of strong stuff here in Yamakoshi.
Before the Koi were loaded into the tank to be transported to the mud pond, Toshinori Ishihara double checked the sex of each, a rogue male released into the mud pond in error could wreak havoc, should a spawning take place the growing season for all of the ponds residents could be destroyed with thousands of fry competing for food.
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Firstly Toshinori would check the pectoral fins, males would now have a rough feel to the leading ray as oiboshii appear. The male would use these to arouse the females interests at spawning time. Secondly he would check the vent of the Koi, gently pressing along the flank in order to try to extract sperm.
The short video below shows some of the Koi being released and includes aerial and underwater footage.
Some superb tategoi released, I would expect nothing more at Yagenji, and I look forward to seeing them harvested in October, of you’ll be able to see it here on Nishikigoi.Life.