This article first appeared in issue 636 of English Rinko magazine published on the 15th August 2015. For more information on Rinko magazine and how to subscribe please visit – http://www.snkkoi.com/onlinerinkopdf/index.html.

Floating Beni

I heard from some foreign Koi dealers that Minuma Goshiki’s floating Beni is very popular overseas. Is this the one which you have been pursuing?

Wada: We have been seeking the Goshiki’s Beni markings whose fluorescent red color look as if they were floating. We don’t care about the base color whether it’s black or indigo-blue. We have just selected young Goshiki with refined Beni markings with such characteristics, and finally some of them were awarded.

I believe that there is a striking contrast between Nishikigoi, especially Goshiki, and other ornamental fish. No fish but Goshiki has such fluorescent red coloured markings.

Change of the Goshiki which won the 15bu Sakura Prize at the 42nd All Japan Koi Show

Change of the Goshiki which won the 15bu Sakura Prize at the 42nd All Japan Koi Show

Change of the Goshiki which won the 75bu Sakura Prize at the 42nd All Japan Koi Show

Change of the Goshiki which won the 75bu Sakura Prize at the 42nd All Japan Koi Show

Recently the Goshiki variety has won the Kokugyo Prize at many shows. But it was very rare for a Goshiki to win a big title when you first won at the 28th All Japan Koi Show as an agent and at the 19th All Japan Young Koi Show with your homebred Goshiki, wasn’t it?

Wada: That’s right. Soon after those shows, the Sakura Prize was established, which allowed the Goshiki variety an award as they were unable to win the Kokugyo Prize. But Goshiki came to be awarded the Sakura Prize with high frequency. The Goshiki variety used to be recognized just as one of Kawarimono. So we owe the current Goshiki’s popularity to the creation of the new prize.

Change of the Ginrin Goshiki which won the 18bu Sakura Prize at the 32nd All Japan Young Koi Show

Change of the Ginrin Goshiki which won the 18bu Sakura Prize at the 32nd All Japan Young Koi Show

I think the marking pattern of Goshiki have come to be mentioned more often as the level of Goshiki has risen. Do you follow the same requirements for Goshiki’s Hi markings as do the Kohaku?


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Wada: Personally, I feel Hi markings with notches set off more beautifully black base than round ones. The combination of the base color with Goshiki’s Hi also differs from that of the Kohaku.

So I don’t follow the same requirements for Hi markings of the Kohaku. Actually, serrated red mark-ings against black base color look like a million dollars.

Change of the Goshiki which won in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014

Change of the Goshiki
which won in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014

I marveled at great alternations of Goshiki’s appearance according to their growth after looking at various photos, including those of the Miyajima Prize winner. Is there a tendency of changing patterns depending on each season?

Wada: The base color becomes darker in summer and by the time the fish are scooped out of the mud pond in autumn it turns whitish and then it darkens toward the midwinter.

In Japan, many koi shows take place in autumn and fortunately, Goshiki’s base color beautifully turns about the same time, right?

Wada: Unfortunately, the darkening of the base color is late for some opening shows held in November and December. The best season is when the All Japan Koi Show and the All Japan Young Koi Show are held.


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Change of the Goshiki which won the 65bu Sakura Prize at the 43rd All Japan Koi Show

Change of the Goshiki which won the 65bu Sakura Prize at the 43rd All Japan Koi Show

How to give Goshiki finishing touches for Koi shows

These days, consigning the raising of Koi for entering Koi shows has been increasing. The finishing by professional Koi farmers is watched by many amateur Koi keepers. You must be raising many of your customers’ Koi for that purpose. As a leading Goshiki breeder, could you give those amateur Koi lovers some advice?

Wada: I know they have some specific demands, such as gaining girth, getting in shape, and whitening the white skin. We are always careful not to put too much control over them.

Do you mean you have some business secrets?

Wada: No, we don’t, I mean we do nothing special. I think the point is not the finishing technique but the right timing of each Koi’s growth.

Do you have any secret Koi food?

Wada: No, we have no secret about raising Koi. We cannot increase the girth of the fish nor improve the brightness and darkness of colors with food.


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While we are simply doing our daily routine, we can make sure of the perfect timing of each Koi for entering Koi shows.

Is your Goshiki more suited for outdoor Koi shows or indoor ones?

Wada: It depends on individual Koi. Making sure of when and which Koi show to enter is our responsibility.

Importance of setting our own standard in appreciation of Koi

Wada: Speaking of entering Koi shows, don’t you think one’s discerning eye for Koi is unreliable?

What do you mean by that?

Wada: I mean our outlook on Koi becomes narrower if we always look at our own Koi in our own pond. We can easily get self-satisfied with our Koi. The level of every Koi has improved greatly these days.


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Each entry at any Koi show looks very beautiful. Especially, about 20 years ago, I had a very difficult time as just a beginner in the breeding business. I learned the importance of setting a criterion.

Change of the Goshiki which won the 60bu Sakura Prize at the 39th All Japan Koi Show

Change of the Goshiki which won the 60bu Sakura Prize at the 39th All Japan Koi Show

What do you mean?

Wada: I selected a striking Koi which I was sure of victory at a Koi show, and compared other Koi to it. If another Koi looked better than the selected Koi, I entered the Koi at a Koi show. Then our entrants came to win more often. I used the winners as standard Koi for the next Koi show.

Thank you very much for your precious experience. We look forward to your Goshiki’s playing active parts in the next season again.

Record of Minuma's Goshiki & Ginrin Goshiki victories in recent three years

Record of Minuma’s Goshiki & Ginrin Goshiki
victories in recent three years


Many thanks to Shuji Fujita, publisher of Rinko magazine for authorising the re-publication of this content.  The content remains copyright of the original publisher and must not be reproduced in any way without their express permission, all rights reserved.


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