Our koi expert Pam Spindola details koi varieties in other issues of WGI Online. Each will open in a new window for easy reference.
Introduction | Sanke | Showa | Utsurimono

Koi Hunting and Achieving a Dream, Pam Spindola Makes
A Journey of the Spirit to Japan
Page 4

Text and images by Pam Spindola
Click images to enlarge

Kaz, our driver, Judy
Walker, Dr. Alvin Au
Our next appointment is with a very prominent world respected koi breeder of champion gosanke lines known as Dainichi. I had met Mr. Minoru Mano, the father, about 20 years ago. After his passing, the sons have continued the business and successfully breed world class koi. It would be an honor to purchase a koi with the Dainichi name. Several of us selected koi to be held 24 hours. We found the Mano brothers to be most helpful. I patiently waited until one had time to net a kohaku for me. There were so many to look at and they swim so quickly, I started to snap pictures of the ones I was interested in. Miraculously, Mr. Mano (the son) was able to find the ones that caught my eye amid hundreds of swirling fins and red patterns.
It was at this point I almost lost my confidence. How was I ever going to select a few koi out of so many? I wanted to make the best choice and get the most for my investment. Maybe investment isn’t the correct word as none of us think of the koi as an investment knowing how easily they can change. Kaz reminded me that I had four days and there was no rush to make a decision.  

Dainichi Koi Farm    

< ^ Kohaku >

We take a break for lunch. On the way, we stop at a koi dry goods shop which carried nets, tubs, air stones, fittings -- a Home Depot for koi! Although buying a new net was very tempting, I knew it would be impractical and would not pass as carry-on luggage!

< Miyaishi Dry Goods Store 

Our afternoon itinerary has several more dealers to visit. The first is Yamajyu owned by Mr. Shigeyuki Hoshino. He is known for his excellent shusui and asagi stock. Shusui is a doitsu or scaleless koi except for a single rack along the dorsal and maybe another row along the side of the belly. The scales must be regimentally straight, the blue light in color and even with no speckles. The accent reddish orange needs to be artistically placed. Lastly, the head has to be light blue and very clear with no smudges. The asagi is a blue koi with a darker blue netting over the body. This netting should be symmetrical and sharply outlined. Once again, the head needs to be clear and free from smudges. His koi were very beautiful and the quality is hardly seen in the US.

 Yamajyu Koi Farm


Shusui - So many to look at!

Yamajyu is known for shusui




< Shusui and asagi

Igarashi Kazuto - kohaku, sanke, showa
The next stop is Ikarashi Koi Farm run by Kazuto Igarashi* and his wife and son. He is world renowned for raising top quality award winning koi bred from very prized bloodlines. Hobbyists from all over the world make Ikarashi a destination. Kaz makes an appointment for us to witness an ikeage or netting of a mudpond for the next day. This is going to be very exciting! However, there is still daylight today and we have more farms to visit. I am starting to get weary and have visions of koi swimming in my head.
* Ikarashi and Igarashi are the same in Kanji. Both versions of the name are used in Japan and overseas. His koi house says "Ikarashi" while most people call him Igarashi.

Ikarashi Koi Farm    

Mr. and Mrs. Ikarashi greeting
Barbara Flowers of Colorado

^ Kohaku | Outdoor ponds >


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