In the previous 3 parts of this in depth look at Kujaku we looked at the history of the variety, the building blocks which make a good modern Kujaku and the finer details of appreciation.  You can find the first 3 parts at the links below.

Kujaku in Detail – Part 1 – The Beginnings

Kujaku in Detail – Part 2 – Building Blocks

Kujaku in Detail – Part 3 – The Details

In those 3 parts we very much concentrated on the standard ‘wagoi’, or fully scaled Kujaku.  However, like many varieties, Kujaku come in the complete range of ‘standard’ variants; Tancho, Ginrin and Doitsu.  In this, the final part of the series, we’ll take a look at those variants as well ask looking at some of the ‘hybrids’ that have been created using Kujaku, either as a constituent part of the hybrid, or as a stepping stone to improving Kujaku as a variety in the long term.

Tancho Kujaku

Tancho literally translates to red marking on the top of the head, originally used as the name for the Japanese red crowned crane.  In Koi terms it’s now used for any type of Koi which was a roughly circular head marking of a colour which doesn’t appear anywhere else on the Koi.  In terms of Kujaku, this means a red/orange marking on the head and no other red pattern.


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Kaneko Koi Farm, Best in Variety Tancho, 63bu, 2017 All Japan Young Koi Show

Kaneko Koi Farm, Best in Variety Tancho, 63bu, 2017 All Japan Young Koi Show

At the Shinkokai All Japan Koi Show and Young Koi Show Tancho Kujaku, along with all kinds of Tancho, are placed in the Tancho class.  At other shows they may be entered into the Kujaku class, should one exist, or alternatively in the Hikarimoyo class.

Tancho of any variety don’t rate highly on my scale of desirability to be honest, however market demand suggests I’m in a minority in that respect.  In terms of appreciation, personally i think the matsubamon pattern has to be scale perfect, in every respect, and the lustre should be extremely bright.  The head marking the deepest of orange red shades with strong shine, and everything else on the Koi perfect.  Sadly that Koi is likely to come with a massive price tag, I’ve witnessed examples significantly inferior to that go for lots of money.

Ginrin Kujaku

Ginrin Kujaku, quite simply Kujaku with Ginrin scales.  Quite simply in concept, in reality far from it seems.  It’s not unusual to see small Ginrin Kujaku, I don’t seem to have a single photo of a larger example.  The complexity of Kujaku perhaps makes it a step too far to try and then overlay a second level of shine on the scales in the shape of ginrin.

The 2 examples below, bred by Marusaka Koi Farm, were both entered into the Spring Niigata Breeders Auction.

Marusaka Koi Farm, Ginrin Kujaku, Tosai, Size 17-19cm

Marusaka Koi Farm, Ginrin Kujaku, Tosai, Size 17-19cm

Marusaka Koi Farm, Ginrin Kujaku, Tosai, Size 17-19cm

Marusaka Koi Farm, Ginrin Kujaku, Tosai, Size 17-19cm

Doitsu Kujaku

Doitsu Kujaku seem to have become extremely scarce nowadays.  By definition a Doitsu Kujaku is a white metallic Koi with a red/orange pattern and black/grey doitsu scales.  If you refer back to the first part of this article – Kujaku in Detail – Part 1 – The Beginnings – we quoted from Takeo Kuroki’s Modern Nishikigoi, ‘At last he succeeded in breeding a “Kujaku Ogon” by running a metallic backed female Shusui with a male Matsuba Ogon and a Hariwake.  Many Koi of this type were Doitsu at first.’

The example below was a winner from the 1987 All Japan Koi Show as pictured in Herbert Axelrod’s ‘Koi Varieties’.  Whilst it may appear to have a blue tinge to the body I would suspect that is the reflected light of the blue container the Koi was photographed in.


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Doitsu Kujaku from Axelrod's 'Koi Varieties'

Doitsu Kujaku from Axelrod’s ‘Koi Varieties’

In Takeo Kuroki’s ‘Modern Nishikigoi’ he states, ‘There are Doitsu Kujaku, and some beginners mistake them for Kinsui and Ginsui.  They are the Hikarimoyo of Shusui, therefore the hi appears quite different from that of the Kujaku.  The Kujaku Doitsu have black scales over which the hi spreads.’  There is no image of Doitsu Kujaku in the book.

However, in the ‘Unique Koi’ section of the same book Kuroki states, ‘Hikarimono of Shusui with many hi markings are called Kinsui while those with few are called Ginsui.  We do not find them at shows these days, perhaps because they are no match for the splendid Yamatonishiki or Kujaku Ogon.’  The image below is the ‘Platinum Shusui’ which accompanies the text, a Koi which nowadays would surely be labelled Beni Kikokuryu.

Koi described as 'Platinum Shusui' by Takeo Kuroki

Koi described as ‘Platinum Shusui’ by Takeo Kuroki

The Koi below also appears in the Unique Koi section, described by Kuroki as a Ginsui.  He states, ‘The Ginsui have less hi than the Kinsui, and so show more platinum lustre.  They were praised more before, but now other kinds of Hikarimono attract people more.’

Ginsui from Kuroki's 'Modern Nishikigoi'

Ginsui from Kuroki’s ‘Modern Nishikigoi’

It’s interesting that by the publishing of Kuroki’s Modern Nishikigoi (1987) both Ginsui and Kinsui had been relegated to being ‘unique Koi’.  A decade earlier Takehiko Tamaki’s ‘Nishikigoi – Fancy Koi’ had stated, ‘The pinnacle of the metallic variety of Nishikigoi is a metallic Shusui.’  

Ginsui and Kinsui are variety names rarely ever heard nowadays and, presented with the above ‘Ginsui’ today, I would label it Doitsu Kujaku.

I mentioned at the beginning how Doitsu Kujaku seem to have become somewhat scarce nowadays and I think the relative scarcity is probably just part of the evolution of Beni Kikokuryu/Kin Kikokuryu – you can read more about the origins of  those varieties here – Kikokuryu, Kin Kikokuryu and Beni Kikokuryu – Part 1 – The Foundation.


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Thinking back 10-15 years ago many Koi would be labelled Doitsu Kujaku however we would see grey staining around the face, or on the skin on the back.  Nowadays those Koi would very much be called Beni Kikokuryu or Kin Kikokuryu depending on style or shade.

Below is example.  If the grey background were white we could have a Doitsu Kujaku.

Ozumi Ikarashi Kin Kikokuryu

Ozumi Ikarashi Kin Kikokuryu

The Koi below was photographed at Miyatora Koi Farm in 2010.  At the time I posted this Koi on my blog I wrote, ‘At first glance this looks like a Doitsu Kujaku however, if you look closer you can see some grey colouration on the white, it’s actually Beni Kikokuryu.  This Koi is actually the sister of the 1st place 55bu Kawarimono from the 2010 All Japan Show.’

Miyatora Koi Farm Beni Kikokuryu

Miyatora Koi Farm Beni Kikokuryu

Here are two more examples which have appeared at the Niigata Nogyosai over the past few years, both also bred by Miyatora Koi Farm.  I can vividly recall one of these being the subject of ongoing discussion between a group of us at the show debating Kujaku or Beni Kikokuryu.  The breeder came over and looked, paused, thought a little more and declared Beni Kikokuryu.

The Niigata Prefectural Society of Nishikigoi President’s Award - 55bu to 65bu, Kawarimono, Bred by Miyatora Koi Farm

The Niigata Prefectural Society of Nishikigoi President’s Award – 55bu to 65bu,
Kawarimono,
Bred by Miyatora Koi Farm

60bu Governors Award, Benikikokuryu, Miyatora Koi Farm

60bu Governors Award, Benikikokuryu, Miyatora Koi Farm

Whether any breeders are specifically breeding Doitsu Kujaku, i.e. pure Doitsu Kujaku male to pure Doitsu Kujaku female, I honestly cannot be sure, but I would have my doubts.  That said we still see some on the market, such as this one selected from Fukazawa Koi Farm by Gatwick Koi (http://www.gatwickkoi.com) this harvest season.

Fukazawa Koi Farm Doitsu Kujaku, purchased by Gatwick Koi

Fukazawa Koi Farm Doitsu Kujaku, purchased by Gatwick Koi

It would be very easy to understand why breeding Beni Kikokuryu, with the chance of a Doitsu Kujaku, would make far more commercial sense than trying to breed perfect clean Doitsu Kujaku.


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Hybrids

There would be no Nishikigoi today had the farmers of Yamakoshi not started playing around with crossing the original colour mutations of Asagi Magoi hundreds of years ago.  That crossing of different varieties continues today for many reasons, be it to improve qualities of an existing variety, or to create something completely new.

Below we’ll look at some of those crosses that have been taken place to create named varieties, as well as a few unique Koi we’ve come across displaying evidence of some Kujaku blood.

Karashi Kujaku

In the second part of this article – Kujaku in Detail – Part 2 – Building Blocks – we detailed the spawning undertaken at Konishi Koi Farm between Karashigoi and Kujaku with the objective of increasing length and body.

As you can see in part 2 there are some extremely impressive offspring from the Karashi Kujaku project.

Konishi Jumbo tosai Kujaku - June 15th 2019

Konishi Jumbo tosai Kujaku – June 15th 2019

Konishi Koi Farm Karashi Kujaku Nisai, photographed 25th August 2019

Konishi Koi Farm Karashi Kujaku Nisai, photographed 25th August 2019

One of the flip sides of introducing a non metallic Koi (i.e. Karashigoi) into the mix is that it potentially dulls down the metallic shine.  I’ve read another breeder suggest that it needs the 2nd generation to bring the shine back.

The 2 images below are from the Konishi Europe website – https://www.konishi-koi.com/news/die-halben-kujaku.html – where Martin Kammerer introduces the Konishi Hanhangoi, a half metallic Kujaku.  Although not specific in the article, I can only presume these have originated from the Karashigoi and Kujaku cross.  It’s interesting how they exhibit a much thinner fukurin, particularly the first one which is almost Goshiki-esque.


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'Hanhangoi', 2 years old, female, 50cm. Picture Martin Kammerer

Konishi Koi Farm ‘Hanhangoi’, 2 years old, female, 50cm. Picture Martin Kammerer

'Hanhangoi', 2 years old, female, 57cm. Picture Martin Kammerer

‘Hanhangoi’, 2 years old, female, 57cm. Picture Martin Kammerer

The Kujaku below is one that Makoto Konishi posted with the comment, ‘Sansai female Karashi kujaku 74cm.  Be inherited the body of Karashigoi.  The kujaku is going to debut as parent koi after 2 years’.

Konishi Koi Farm sansai Karashi Kujaku

Konishi Koi Farm sansai Karashi Kujaku

The body and size are incredibly impressive, as indeed is the matsubamon.  However, on the basis of this photo the head colour and the colour of the skin on the body are somewhat ‘off’.

It will be very interesting to watch developments over the coming years.

Kirin

We wrote about Wada Koi Farm’s ‘Kirin’ in this article – Wada Koi Farm’s ‘Kirin’ – and detailed how Suguru Wada attempted to increase the body size of his Kujaku by crossing in a 90cm female Nezu Ogon.   Whilst the goal of creating a female Kujaku parent has been deemed a failure by Wada, the crossing has created a variety which seems to have found a very popular market.

Best nisai female 'Kirin'

Best nisai female ‘Kirin’

Nisai Kirin purchased by Ryuki Narita

Nisai Kirin purchased by Ryuki Narita

Wada Koi Farm, Kirin, 2 years old, 47cm, Male

Wada Koi Farm,
Kirin,
2 years old,
47cm,
Male

Someone asked me a few days ago whether Kirin were in effect just yellow Kujaku.  Externally it would be a reasonable call.  Indeed, if the breeder had just called them ‘Ki Kujaku’ I don’t think anyone would have argued.  As Wada san explained when we interviewed him, all of the babies were black, as opposed to the white babies that you get from a Kujaku spawning.  Looking at the faces of the examples above, they all have some degree of black colouration around the face and in the fins, something which we talked about in part 3 of this article as being increasingly accepted in Kujaku.

Again, it will be interesting to see where Wada Koi Farm take the Kirin project…


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Katchu Kujaku

Katchu Kujaku, also referred to at Katchugoi or just Katchu, have been created by Yamaju Koi Farm in Yamakoshi.  The two examples below were offered for sale in the 2019 autumn Niigata Breeders Auction.

Yamaju Koi Farm, Katchugoi, Female, Sansai, 49cm

Yamaju Koi Farm, Katchugoi, Female, Sansai, 49cm

Yamaju Koi Farm, Katchugoi, Female, Sansai, 52cm

Yamaju Koi Farm, Katchugoi, Female, Sansai, 52cm

On 24th September 2017 Ryo Hoshino gave the first glimpse of a new and seemingly un-named variety on his Facebook page when he posted this video.

How about the fast time made varieties this year??Any way, we are gonna start harvest 2y,3y,4years koi in middle of October.

Posted by Ryo Hoshino on Sunday, 24 September 2017

There seems to have been no further mention of this new variety until July 2019 when a Thailand based customer posted this picture onto Ryo Hoshino’s Facebook page, entered into 30bu Kawarigoi at the TNPA​ Phuket Young Koi​ Show​ 2019.

'Katchugoi' entered into TNPA​ Phuket Young Koi​ Show​ 2019 - July

‘Katchugoi’ entered into TNPA​ Phuket Young Koi​ Show​ 2019 – July

On 10th October 2019 Ryo Hoshino posted this video onto his Facebook page with the message, ‘What’s this?! We call it’s Katchu-Kujaku??hahaha Katchu means Japanese armor. Hahaha:)))’


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Posted by Ryo Hoshino on Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Subsequent information posted on Facebook reveals that ‘Katchu Kujaku’ are the offspring of a female Goshiki crossed with a male Kujaku.   Some have metallic heads, some half metallic and some matt.

Hopefully we can find out more about the hoped for outcome of the spawning, whether it met the goals, and what the plans are for the future from Hoshino san in due course for a future article.

Other unique Koi of Kujaku parentage

This is another Koi created by AO Aokiya, a cross between Goshiki and Kujaku, photographed in April 2010.  Interestingly it displays all the characteristics of Kujaku but the orange pattern is free of scale pattern.  The lustre was incredibly high.

AO Aokiya - Offspring of a cross between Kujaku and Goshiki

AO Aokiya – Offspring of a cross between Kujaku and Goshiki

AO Aokiya - Offspring of a cross between Kujaku and Goshiki

AO Aokiya – Offspring of a cross between Kujaku and Goshiki

Aoki was continuing to cross Kujaku and Goshiki in 2010 however I have no more results from the spawnings that may have taken place.

The Koi below is one which I found at Maruhide Koi Farm just as it was harvested in October 2017.   When it first came out of the harvest truck my first reaction was, ‘what the hell is that!’   The more I looked at it the more I started to appreciate it, and the more I kind of fell in love with it.

Speaking to Hidemasa Hirasawa it transpired the Koi was the result of a spawning between a female Kohaku and a male Kujaku. It’s not Kujaku because it’s not metallic, although the scales have a metallic sheen, it is though an excellent Kawarigoi.


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Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

Maruhide Kawarigoi, offspring of Kujaku and Kohaku

A unique Koi which demonstrates excellent qualities in terms of body structure, incredibly clean and neat matsubamon scalation and a nice pattern to boot, especially the head with those neat ‘eyebrows’.

I first encountered this Koi on a shipment from Marusei Koi Farm to Koi Water Barn in the UK.  If you had to put a name on it then i suppose it’s a Beni Ginga although I can’t help wonder what parents were used to create it.  Marusei breed a lot of high class Kujaku and something tells me that this has to have come from Kujaku parentage on at least one side.  If you compare the Koi to the Katchugoi above then this could very easily be swimming in that bowl.  The photo on the left was taken on 13th March 2019, the photo on the right on October 18th 2019.

Marusei Koi Farm 'Beni Ginga'

Marusei Koi Farm ‘Beni Ginga’

Marusei Koi Farm 'Beni Ginga'

Marusei Koi Farm ‘Beni Ginga’

This Koi has something about it that really interests me, and I think the scalation has developed really nicely. The lustre is excellent and the body and length improved significantly in the 7 months between the photographs.

 

That brings this 4th part of this in depth look at Kujaku to an end.  A variety almost 60 years in the making and a variety that continues to evolve with breeders looking to improve and develop it, and also use it as a stepping stone to something new.  One thing is for sure, Kujaku are truly Living Jewels.


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