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Koi

Below you'll find help to understand what the Japanese names for many of the Koi stand for.  

Please take your time and enjoy our

"Living Jewels"!

What kind of Koi do I have? The table below shows some of the most common Japanese terms relating to or describing Koi, their color, and or their markings. Keep in mind that many lesser expensive Koi are referred to as "pond grade Koi" and it is some times hard or even possible to name a pond grade variety of Koi.

On the other hand, most Koi from Japan, those bred in Japan will follow the descriptions below. It should also be known that "above average pond grade fish" do come in from Japan and into the US market. In general, the Koi descriptions in the table below refer to Japanese bred Koi. There can also be domestic bred fish from Japanese parent stock that are sometimes referred to as Japanese fish.

A white Koi with a red pattern like a Kohaku. However, each red scale is reticulated in black or dark blue.
Red Koi with black markings
Koi with a blue back, some red on its "cheeks," pectoral fins, and below the lateral line
White Koi with black random markings
Red
An orange/red Koi.
Grape. What the heck does this have to do with a Koi? Well, it generally refers to the pattern on the fish as looking like a bunch of grapes...
Translated it means "tea" in both Japanese and Chinese.
Typically the largest and most friendly of all Koi. When it comes to Koi, it is usually used as Chagoi non-metallic tan, to brown colored Koi.
A term that developed from the word for German/Deutsch. The Koi has scales on along its dorsal fin. A leather Koi is a Doitsu with no scales; a mirror Koi is one that has scales along its dorsal fin AND along its lateral line and around the mouth.
A sort of purple colored Koi with red markings
Reticulated effect on the scales on a Koi created by shiny skin around the scale
Silver
Metallic silver scales that sparkle like diamonds
Refers to the main categories that includes Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.
A five colored Koi -white, red, black, dark blue, and light blue
A black Koi with a white nose, and white at the tips of its fins
A platinum Koi with orange, yellow, or gold markings. These are always either Ginrin or Doitsu
Red
Multi-colored Koi except Utsuri and Showa.
A shadowy black reticulated marking on a Koi's scales
A white Koi with a "dappled" red pattern
Means "crow." The Japanese believe a black Koi in the pond is good luck
black fish with white or orange belly
Black Koi with yellow markings, usually but not always Doitsu
Non-metallic yellow Koi
Kinrin gold scales that sparkle like diamonds, metallic gold
Silver and gold scales that sparkle like diamonds, metallic gold and silver scales
The edges of the Patten on a Koi
A white Koi with red markings
Translated "Koi crazy..." If you can identify with my "Addiction page," you are Koi Kichi
Translates as "robed." The red color on the fish is overlaid with blue or black edging.
Translates as "lipstick." Red markings on the mouth giving the look of the Koi wearing lipstick
Black Doitsu Koi with a bit of white on its head, fins, and body.
A "Doitsu" fish with no scales
An all black Koi that has scales
A Koi with a circular red marking on its head, that are different from the body colors.
Pine cone pattern or often referred to as a "netting" pattern. It looks like the fish has a piece of netting laid over its body
Translates as "melon." refers to a light green colored Koi. Either scaled or Doitsu
A "Doitsu" Koi has large shiny scales along its dorsal fin and lateral line and gills
The black markings on the base of the pectoral fins on a Showa or Utsuri type Koi
Fish of one color Shiro muji for instance refers to an all white fish
Term referring to two distinct markings of the same color on a Koi. A Kohaku that has 2 distinct red markings with white in between would be referred to as Nindan or a 2 step Kohaku
Translates as "autumn leaves on water." Its a blue gray Koi with brown markings.
Koi of a single color
Orange
Three distinct markings of the same color on a Koi. See description above of Nindan.
White Koi with red and black markings easily for a beginner to confuse with Showa
White
White Koi with black markings
Black Koi with white markings. Must have distinct black on his head. Inside of mouth will also be black. Some times confused with Bekko
Black Koi with red and white markings
An Asagi without scales. Sky blue or sometimes referred to as gray/blue with dark blue/black mirror scales along the dorsal and lateral lines and sometimes near the gills. Red on along the sides, near the mouth and sometimes on the fins. If the red is above the lateral line the fish is then HI shusui. Shusui is always doitsu and I have seen some that have some ginrin scales from cross breeding.
A blue gray Koi
Black
A Koi with a red circular spot on its head. The spot should be well placed above and between the eyes in better Koi.
Translates "not yet finished, still developing..."
Yellow
Term meaning four distinct markings of the same color on a Koi. Or sometimes referred as 4 steps of a single color with white in between.

 
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