As I write this I shouldn’t actually be in Japan any longer, I should be on my way back to the UK.  Commitments here have meant a change of schedule and a few days longer on what is now ‘part 1’ of my trip, next week I will fly to the USA before returning to Japan for a further week or so at the end of November.

Today was one of those truly special days in the mountains, the sun shone brightly, the sky a cloudless blue, the mountains themselves rapidly changing colour as winter starts to arrive.  If you look closely at the image below you can just see a little snow at the top of the distant mountain on the far right hand side.

Mushigame Village and surrounding mudponds

Mushigame Village and surrounding mudponds

I had to visit Koda this afternoon to photograph some Koi for a client.  When I arrived some customers from Thailand were busy selecting Koi.  Masato Hoshino greeted me with, ‘Hi Mark san, did you come to buy some Koi?’.  ‘Of course not, I don’t buy Koi!’, I stated jokingly.

I wrote about Koda Koi Farm nisai last year – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/10/14/koda-koi-farm-nisai/.

As I stood looking in one of the nisai ponds a Ginrin Showa kept catching my eye.  I picked up a net and raised the Koi to the surface for a closer look.  As I did so Masato shouted across, ‘Mark san, azukari no problem’.  ‘Just looking’, I replied, ‘I’m a poor photographer, can’t afford Koi’.

I released it back into the pond and continued looking, and it continued to catch my eye.  There was a bowl of water next to me so I grabbed a Koi sock and again netted the Koi, this time placing it in the bowl.


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The Thai customers were being guided by Takamitsu Sekiguchi of the Sekiguchi Koi Farm family.  He looked at the Koi and stated ‘wow, yasui’, meaning ‘wow, that is cheap’, obviously being aware of the fixed asking price of the Koi in that pond.  At this point I was unaware of the price.  Takamitsu jokingly suggested we start an auction for the Koi straight away.

This is the Koi in question.

Koda Koi Farm, Ginrin Showa, Nisai, Female, Approx 35cm

Koda Koi Farm, Ginrin Showa, Nisai, Female, Approx 35cm

I have to say that Koda Ginrin are some of the best around, the quality of the Ginrin is so strong and even across the Koi.  Next to me Tony Rorinser from Thailand by co-incidence had a sansai example in a bowl which truly glowed.

I was also reminded about the Koi that my friend Jeroen Dregmans had purchased last year as nisai, grown to sansai and won a 1st prize at the Nagaoka Koi Show 2 weeks ago.

Jeroen Dregman's Koda Ginrin Showa, nisai to sansai

Jeroen Dregman’s Koda Ginrin Showa, nisai to sansai

One of the Koi I was actually at Koda to photograph was this yonsai Ginrin Showa.

Koda Koi Farm, Ginrin Showa, Yonsai

Koda Koi Farm, Ginrin Showa, Yonsai

The close up below shows the detail of the Ginrin scalation.


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Close up of Ginrin scales on Koda Ginrin Showa

Close up of Ginrin scales on Koda Ginrin Showa

I continued to look in the pond and several other Ginrin Showa caught my eye, this one below in particular which was also bowled.

Koda Koi Farm, Ginrin Showa, Nisai, Approx 35cm

Koda Koi Farm, Ginrin Showa, Nisai, Approx 35cm

If I’m honest I perhaps preferred the second one to the first one.

The customers left the Koi house to go to the one containing older Koi, and as they did Masato gave me the cost of the Koi, and the azukari fee.  For those unaware, azukari literally means ‘under custody’, in this instance to leave the Koi in the breeders’ care for an agreed period, for these Koi it would be to grow them until next autumn when they will be 3 years old.

I wandered back to my car to get my camera and started photographing both Koi in the bowl.

Decisions, decisions……..

Looking in a pond of sold Koi there were several really lovely older Ginrin Showa, including Jeroen’s above.  They were very convincing……


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To use one of Richard Branson’s catchphrases, I decided ‘Screw it, let’s do it!’.

When Masato returned I confirmed I would buy both.  I had sexed both as female, however Masato felt that the Maruten was a male.  Irrespective of that Masato confirmed he could keep both as azukari.

Headshot of nisai Koda Ginrin Showa

Headshot of nisai Koda Ginrin Showa

Close up of Ginrin on nisai Ginrin Showa

Close up of Ginrin on nisai Ginrin Showa

Headshot of nisai Koda Ginrin Showa

Headshot of nisai Koda Ginrin Showa

Close up of Ginrin on nisai Ginrin Showa

Close up of Ginrin on nisai Ginrin Showa

The Koda Ginrin Showa Azukari Team

The Koda Ginrin Showa Azukari Team

Want to join the fun?  There are several other great contenders still swimming in the same pond at Koda Koi Farm……


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