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
Text and images by Pam Spindola
Click images to enlarge
Mudponds of Niigata
It is late Friday morning and we have an appointment to meet
the Ikarashis to see the harvesting of a mudpond. Mr. and Mrs.
Igarashi and one worker are doing all the work. They started
draining the pond earlier in the day. When we arrived the seine
was already thrown and being pulled to one side. There was a
gentle hush in the serene mountainside, and all that could be
heard was the air rustling through the trees and the gentle ripple
of the water as the net was being guided to the edge.
Remarkable examples of koi emerged from the muddy waters. Their
colors were lustrous whites, reds, and patent leather black.
Each koi was hand delivered to a koi tub and then carried to
the vat on a small truck. The koi were surprisingly obedient
when handled. No doubt this is credit to the breeders who know
just how to transport these sometimes squirmy creatures. They
must have seined the small pond three times within the hour we
were there. I just kept thinking how much physically demanding
hard work is required to raise these koi. Watching these breeders
work in their shops and at the mudponds gave me a new appreciation
of the intense labor required to raise these beautiful fish.
In spite of this difficult work they seem to enjoy it and rightly
take great pride in the results.
Although we didnt physically do the work, we seemed to
have worked up an appetite. Kaz brought us to one of the favorite
noodle restaurants of the area. The noodle soup with barbecued
pork was delicious.
^ Chef - the best
Lunch - noodle soup -
the best! >>
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After lunch, we stopped at the Nishikigoi auction where the action
was fast and furious. Bidders sat in a two tiered enclosed gallery
high above a stream with floating containers filled with plastic
bags containing koi. At one end of the gallery was the auctioneer
and his transcriber calling out the lot number and the bidding
price. In addition he manipulated a series of wooden blocks that
kept slamming down as the bid increased.
The containers were being pulled to the outside of the building
where men in waders organized the sold koi. There were koi everywhere.
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