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Koi Varieties

Koi come in a variety of colors, including red, blue, yellow, white, and black. Koi farmers have developed many categories to describe the Koi based on their color pigmentation and layout. These categories have been developed through the hundreds of years of cultivating and growing Koi in Japan.

Some of the major categories are:
  • Asagi - this fish has it’s top covered with blue scales and red on the bottom
  • Bekko - black pattern covering a white, red, or yellow skin
  • Doitsu-goi - a Koi with no scales or only a few scales on top.
  • Goshiki - black with blue, brown, red, or white
  • Hikari-Moyomono - Koi in two metallic colours
  • Kawarimono (kawarigoi) - A catch-all for Koi that don’t fall into the other category
  • Kin Gin Rin - shiny scales.
  • Kohaku - a white skin with red patterns
  • Koromo - orderly, blue scales
  • Ogon - a Koi that is a uniform color all over the body
  • Showa Sanshoku Showa) - black with white/red
  • Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke) - white with black/red pattern
  • Utsurimono - black with white, red, or yellow

There are two generalized categories also. These are used to collectively refer to groups of Koi with common features.

Gosanke :: This is the most popular category of Koi. It is made up of the Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku, and Showa Sanshoku fish.

Tancho :: This refers to a Koi with a red circle on its forehead. The fish can be a Tancho Showa, Tancho Sanke, or even Tancho Goshiki