When my alarm went off at 7am my fears were realised, it was absolutely pouring with rain outside.  Of course it was, it is Niigata Nogyosai weekend, my favourite show of all, but without fail guaranteed to rain.

Undeterred I dragged myself from bed and to the Ojiya Gymnasium where the show was being held as usual.

I arrived just before 8am, start of benching, and slowly but surely things got underway as breeders arrived with their Koi.

NND staff unload Showa

NND staff unload Showa

NND were one of the first to arrive, the Showa above one that I mentioned yesterday in relation to the forthcoming Niigata Breeders Auction – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/10/28/lets-hear-boys-19th-niigata-breeders-auction/.  A number of auction Koi, from different breeders, will be in attendance at the show, of course, the chance of a prize boosting a Koi’s value.

TV cameraman

TV cameraman

It has to be said, visitors were a little thin on the ground at 8am, with the weather I guess no one could blame them, however myself and the chap above were supporting the effort.

Large Marusei Hi Utsuri

Large Marusei Hi Utsuri

A large Marusei Hi Utusri is lifted from truck.  I’ve mentioned Koi breeders’ wives working hard many a time, and Yoshiyuki Hirasawa’s wife is certainly no exception! That’s a heavy bag to be lifting like that.


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Large Marusei Hi Utsuri

Large Marusei Hi Utsuri

Mitsugu Tanaka, Maruju Koi Farm

Mitsugu Tanaka, Maruju Koi Farm

Despite the weather there were plenty of smiles around at the show as Koi were unloaded from trucks into their show pools be the breeders.

Having followed Mitsugu to the Maruju show pool I stood patiently waitng for a Koi to be lifted from the bowl.  Shot framed, and focused, the brothers proceeded to lift an empty bag of water into the pool.

Maruju Ghost Koi?

Maruju Ghost Koi?

Maruhiro Koi Farm

Maruhiro Koi Farm

Several people had suggested Marudo could compete for GC with either Sanke or Kohaku.  I immediately recognised this Sanke as appearing on Niigata Seasons Autumn, filmed in 2014, as did their Nagaoka Koi Show GC from last week – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/10/10/niigata-seasons-autumn-part-6/.

Marudo unloading potential GC contender

Marudo unloading potential GC contender

I spotted Hisato and Chikara Nogami unloading and headed for their truck, Hisato san immediately insisting they only had small Koi.

Chikara Nogami

Chikara Nogami

The weather showed no sign of abating as the Koi continued to flow into the show site.

Izumiya staff

Izumiya staff

Miyatora

Miyatora

Despite being with Isa just a few days ago I wasn’t sure what they were bringing in to the show this year.


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Isa Showa

Isa Showa

Isa Showa

Isa Showa

Isa Sanke

Isa Sanke

The Showa below is the one that I featured in the Niigata Breeders Auction selection here – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/10/26/entries-19th-niigata-breeders-auction/.  It is nice, really nice, and as I always preach, just look at that sumi……

Isa Showa

Isa Showa

Torazo

Torazo

Team Torazo bringing the Koi in, Mrs Kawakami hard working as ever, an integral part of Torazo Koi Farm.

Mrs TORAZO Kawakami

Mrs TORAZO Kawakami

Kazuhiro Hirasawa was literally sprinting directly at me in the picture below.  I remember years ago taking some people to benching at a show and insisting they were careful to stay out of the way of breeders.  Many of the pictures above I was just metres away from them in their direct line of path, but it’s a matter of trust, they know I’m going to get out of their way.

Kazuhiro 'Kanno' Hirasawa

Kazuhiro ‘Kanno’ Hirasawa

Dainichi is of course the ‘big gun’ here in Niigata, but I can’t recall so much interest as their Koi were being unloaded as there was this year.  Intriguingly the 2 Koi being unloaded below both feature on the inside cover advert of the November Gekken Nishikigoi magazine here in Japan, and also on the cover of the 2017 Dainichi calendar.

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

The Kohaku below was my choice for Grand Champion at the 2015 Niigata Nogyosai – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/10/31/judging-at-the-2015-niigata-nogyosai/ – and for this year it remained my favourite.

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Marudo Kohaku

Marudo Kohaku

As you can see from the photos above, taken as the Koi arrived, the rain continued to fall.  These were in fact the only 3 Koi that I photographed during benching, I was confident that one of them would become Grand Champion.


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To be continued…..


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