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Thread: Koi History

  1. #1
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Post Koi History

    The past few days I have been busy busy. Recently Sean and I took over the CCKS Newsletter, I will be posting that hopefully tomorrow in the club section. I am also working on the flyer for our show in September. The next thing on the agenda is making a booklet for the show. Maybe you guys can help me out on one of the parts, A breif history of Nishikigoi (Koi) and how they became popular California, or for that matter the United States. Here are my notes on what I have so far.

    What we know today as Koi (Koi = carp in Japanese) are a hybrid form of common carp that have been selectively bred for specific traits. The common carp originated in the freshwaters of the Caspian, Black and Aral Sea drainages. This fish is very prolific, will eat anything, and gets big. To humans with little resource for raising livestock, the carp was seen as a major food staple. As the humans spread out they took the carp with them. It is believed that this is how the carp came to Japan.

    After a while the Japanese keepers began to notice different variations in the carp. The keepers began to put the brighter colored fish aside and would breed them to each other through several generations. By 1830 these keepers where experimenting with crossing white carp with a red carp.
    Amanda Bulls-Stephens
    Creator of "The Tail End"
    Central California Koi Society

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Do a little searching for JR and Ray's ramblings on "Yamakoshi"
    Without Yamakoshi there is no Nishikigoi, period
    If Luke or Rob come along to tell you otherwise just ignore the BS and keep reading.

  3. #3
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Thanks Papa

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Another good brain to pick (if you can talk her into it) would be NancyM She gleaned some wonderful insights into the early days of the hobby in California from some of the So Cal "originals" a few years back, and the American hobby traces its roots to those early Japanese families who settled there in the hobby's infancy.

  5. #5
    Tategoi lypope's Avatar
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    Nancy wrote a spectacular article in the recent past for KoiUSA about the first owner of Eastern Nishikigoi; it had some history of the early days of the koi hobby in Southern California. She'd be a great resource; Burt Ballou is another great source of information; he's been a big part of the hobby's development since the early days of organized clubs.

  6. #6
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Thanks Lypope,

    I invited Nancy to share some of her information with me. I keep on forgetting about Burt Ballou, probably cause when I hear the name Ballou I think of old westerns, and not Koi. Well atleast I don't think of the bear from Kipling's "Jungle Book." My club's VP is allways talking about things he has learned from Burt. Is he a member of this web site? Does he have a web site I can go look at?

    Again, thank you.

    Amanda

  7. #7
    Tategoi lypope's Avatar
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    Burt isn't the most "techie" among us. Contact Nancy and she'll put you in touch with Burt - they are very close friends. He knows EVERYTHING about the history of the hobby in SoCal. And I mean EVERYTHING! And he's just a delightful guy to talk to...

  8. #8
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    So much of understanding Koi is to understand japanese culture. Coupla stories you could add into your book that are fun to retell and illustrate my point about being tied into japanese culture.

    In the beginning of history for cloth makers, having a beautiful black was very important. It was a trade secret for years that to get it you dye the cloth first red. then come back with black and the results are so much more impressive. switch now to koi and learn that black coming thru a red base looks good but to judge the TRUE quality of black it must be viewed thru the white.

    How doutsu got it's name. japanese farmers on tour in Germany found the leather and mirror carp interesting. Asked what type of carp they were, and were informed by their german hosts that they were "deutch" (german) carp.
    Not being able to get their mouth around the pronounciation it came out doutsu and is continually mispronounced until this very day in koi circles.
    Dick Benbow

  9. #9
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Thanks Coach for the two "shorts." I'll try to put them in.
    Amanda

  10. #10
    Daihonmei
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    I think it's GREAT that you all are interested in the History of koi! It really enriches our appreciation of koi as a remarkable creation of nature and man and also as art and symbolism. Very cool stuff for the true koi kichi!

    I'd pick Ray Jordan's brain on the subject , he's one of the most knowledgable in this area in the entire country. JR

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