I’ve been asked several times over the last couple of days, ‘who will win Grand Champion?’, at this weekend’s All Japan Koi Show.

Whilst predicting an actual winner at this stage would be foolhardy, I haven’t seen the Koi of course, it’s not so difficult to identify the Koi that are likely to challenge, assuming there are in fact entered.

3 of the Koi detailed below were actually in my top 5 after benching took place at last year’s show – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/01/28/my-personal-top-5-at-the-2016-all-japan-koi-show/ – and all took major prizes, I will highlight them, and some other Koi that could be in the running below.

Sakai Kohaku - Jumbo Champion 2016 AJKS

Sakai Kohaku – Jumbo Champion 2016 AJKS

Over the last 3 All Japan Koi Shows a pattern has formed which has seen the runner up from the previous year step up to take the Grand Champion prize, Princesses who became Queens – http://nishikigoi.life/2017/01/06/all-japan-koi-show-princesses-became-queens/.  Were that trend to continue then the Kohaku would become Grand Champion this year.

This Koi came to the 2016 All Japan Koi Show as the reigning Grand Champion of the Rinyukai All Japan Koi Show.  She was beaten 43 votes to 38 in the final ballot for Grand Champion by the red hot favourite Dainichi Toyota Kohaku.  Bred by Sakai Fish Farm and handled by Narita Koi Farm, last year she was 94cm in length, this year’s size I don’t know yet.

A Koi that attracted a lot of admiring glances and favourable comments at last year’s show and, like I say, should trend continue, would be Grand Champion.  However, life is not so simple and there are some other heavy weight contenders below….


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

Sakai Kohaku - 2016 ZNA Grand Champion

Sakai Kohaku – 2016 ZNA Grand Champion

The Kohaku above is the reigning ZNA All Japan Koi Show Grand Champion, at a massive 97/98cm.

This Kohaku was originally in my top 6 at the 2015 All Japan Koi Show where it was awarded the Best in Variety Kohaku.  In my top 5 at the 2016 show she was awarded the 90bu Kokugyo Prize.

Without question, a serious, serious, contender for the GC prize this year.

Dainichi Kohaku - 2015 ZNA Grand Champion

Dainichi Kohaku – 2015 ZNA Grand Champion

This Dainichi Kohaku has won pretty much everything since it first appeared on the show scene when it won the Niigata Nogyosai in October 2012.  In February 2013 she was awarded 85bu Kokugyo Prize at the All Japan Koi Show before taking Grand Champion at the Rinyukai Show in November that year.  In January 2014 she won the 90bu Kokugyo prize at the All Japan Show.  She didn’t appear at the 2015 All Japan Koi Show suggestion being that she was not in condition to compete, however in November 2015 she won the ZNA Grand Champion prize.

She was entered into the 2016 All Japan Koi Show however did not attend, not altogether a surprise as she was owned by the same person as the Dainichi Toyota Kohaku which took Grand Champion.

I saw this Koi at Dainichi in November, and am told her size is around 94cm.  I have to say she looks absolutely massive, and as best could be told in the moving pond water her condition looked great.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

Could this one non-Sakai Kohaku amongst the competition finally add the All Japan GC prize to her list of honours and cap what would be a long and distinguished show career?

Photo taken at the 2014 All Japan Koi Show.

Sakai Kohaku

Sakai Kohaku

If I could only pick 3 Koi to preview then the first 3 detailed above would be the 3 I would pick.  There are however others worthy of mention, and that will probably appear within the top 5 at the show, those Gosanke prizes being Grand Champion, Jumbo Champion, 90bu Kokugyo, 90bu Miyabi and Best in Variety Kohaku.  Check out the demystified guide for an explanation of prizes – http://nishikigoi.life/2017/01/14/2016-all-japan-koi-demystified/

The Kohaku above was in my top 5 at the 2016 All Japan Koi Show before judging and was awarded the Best in Variety prize.  She also attended the 2016 ZNA All Japan Koi Show.

It seems that the common consensus is that this Koi’s beni quality is slightly lacking in depth, otherwise she is incredibly appealing.

Expect to see her among the major prizes however I suggest GC may be a step out of reach for this Koi.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

Sakai Kohaku - 2016 Rinyukai All Japan Grand Champion

Sakai Kohaku – 2016 Rinyukai All Japan Grand Champion

Last, but by no means least, the reigning Rinyukai Grand Champion.  Can it realistically compete for the GC prize at the All Japan Koi Show?  No, probably not.  However, the Rinyukai All Japan Show is a proving ground for future All Japan Grand Champions and contenders.  This is a Koi we could see starting to make its mark on the major prizes this year.

‘What about Momotaro?’, I hear you cry.

The simple answer is that I don’t know what they have to enter.

In 2013 we heard a lot of pre-show noise about the Showa ‘Lion Queen’.  She didn’t win that year however on the build up to the 2014 show, which of course she won, we heard even more noise about how much bigger and better she was.  In 2015 we heard a lot in the build up regarding the Showa ‘Black Dragon’, she disappointed – the sumi traveled poorly shall we say.  In 2016 Momotaro brought the Showa ‘Blue Whale King’.  At 103cm she was impressive for her size and body shape.  Unfortunately she was again let down by her sumi not traveling well.

This year I’ve heard nothing about any Koi that Momotaro are bringing to the All Japan Koi Show so wait with interest to see what they do bring on Thursday.  Watch this space….


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month