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Thread: Hi Utsuri vs Aka Bekko refinement

  1. #1
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Hi Utsuri vs Aka Bekko refinement

    Leading question..................

    All things being equal and therefore, pattern only remains, which would you consider more refined Hi Utsuri, with either all black or heavily stripped pectorals or an Aka Bekko absent or slight black stripes in the pectorals?

    BB

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    ?? Neither variety is the subject of much purposeful breeding... Hi Utsuri minimally, and Aka Bekko not at all. So, I would have to see specific fish rather than making a generalized statement. Based just on the sumi pattern, the Aka Bekko would be more refined. The sumi is more controlled, while that of the Hi Utsuri is typical of the early Utsuri types.

    If I were to generalize, I'd say the chances of an Aka Bekko being high quality are better, simply because they come out of Sanke breeding. But, they get culled because there is not much of a market for them, while Hi Utsuri are purchased in quantity, especially tosai, which are often striking when displayed in a blue bowl by a dealer. For an Aka Bekko to make it through the culling of Sanke offspring in Japan, it would likely have rather impressive quality traits.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbradleybradley View Post
    Leading question..................

    All things being equal and therefore, pattern only remains, which would you consider more refined Hi Utsuri, with either all black or heavily stripped pectorals or an Aka Bekko absent or slight black stripes in the pectorals?

    BB

    fun exercise. But can all 'things be equal" between an utsuri and a bekko? Bekko has ( or can have gosanke skin) Utsuri's failure is that it never quite made the transition! Bekko, on the other hand, is often an aka sanke in drag! I know I'm getting a bit much with this 'Atmosphere' talk, to since it is you Bradley and it never hurts for others to get the lesson re-enforced-- an aka bekko often has such an atmosphere of classic sanke that it is hard to see it as a lower grade bekko. Know what I mean? JR

  4. #4
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike and I understand what you are saying. Just because something is not specifically breed for or culled, I cannot see why anyone could not separate the two into a less or greater refinement. I think you can look into two fish and see that, both in the terms of the pattern and elements of atmosphere.

    JR I know not all things are equal, but for the discussion they need be or at least we need to pretend they are. Be patient with me.....

    Back to the original question. Let us start with one trait first. We can look at the others later. Just focus on the pectoral. Full black or heavy stripped versus absent or slight black stripes.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Pec fin standards vary by variety.

    Bekko pec fins should either be the same color as their body or have a few thin sumi stripes in the center of their pec fins called Tejima (hand stripes). Heavy striping is called is Houki zumi (broom sumi) and is considered less refined on sanke and bekko fins.

    Hi or Ki Utsuri fins are expected to have strong black striping called Houki zumi (broom sumi) but solid black fins (Kuro Bire) are permitted but considered much less refined.

    Shiro Utsuri and Showa are preferred to have tight motoguro sumi markings on the base of their pec fins. Solid white fins are accepted but not preferred. Striped fins are considered less refined and solid black fins are least refined type on these varieties.

    Regarding your body pattern question. Dorsal stepped patterns are considered the most refined. Followed by wrapping, then lateral, and last in ranking are the solid color types. So all other factors being equal a dorsal pattern beats a wrapping pattern. But is really never comes to this decision point because of other quality factors.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Thanks Ray, concise!

    I am glad that JR mentioned that aka bekko can really be aka sanke in drag as some koi called hi utsuri are really hi showa. The tell is the motoguro. You don't see hi utsuri with proper or tight motoguro. When you do think you are seeing one, take a look further at th koi and you will find more shiroji hidden away. Hi showa will have motoguro, whereas hi utsuri will not. There is a reason for this. In the koi there are modifying genes. These are genes that will alter how other genes are expressed. The role of modifying genes is to alter appearance or suppress it. In the case of the pectoral fins in hi utsuri, there is a gene combination the results in a dominant expression for full black or heavy stripes. This changes in hi showa, as the motoguro suppression can be overcome, although not always. If a breeder or hobbyst ever wished to refine hi utsui further by attempting to create tight motoguro, I would say forget it, at least without hoping for another mutation to remove the modifying gene or introduce another dominant combination.

    In aka bekko, you do not see the same thing. The sumi on the fins can be any variation from absent, lightly or hevily stripped. The gene combination in aka bekko is significantly different to hi utsuri - obvious of course. Yet, understanding how modifying genes produce certain looks or which dominant combinations exist - not so much.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei
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    Good point!
    In a perfect world it is easy to say and see that the all white bekko is simply a sanke without red present ( the piebald gene is absent).
    And using the same logic, it is easy to see a shiro utsuri as a showa with the red wrapped pattern absent. And is true and solid a fact as far as it goes-- afterall, some of these individuals come from sanke and showa breedings! And that is backed up by a simple punnett square calculation.

    But like everything in koi, the more you unravel things, the more complicted ( and exciting) things get!!

    The 'red' bekko version seems to be the same as the shiro bekko only this time the white disappears and the red remains. True, but not quite right!
    It is the piebald pattern that is left out in favor of a wild pattern. But in doing this, white gene is also often lost. In the ones that look 'somehow' different in tone and brightness, the white gene effect is present.
    In the case of the hi uturi, the genetic results are even worse! In that case, if you look at the bellies of 100 hi utsuri, you will see an orange or yellowy brass color. This means that the white gene is missing -or- partially dominated !! by the way, in the aka sanke and hi showa versions, the red looks MUCH better because the white is present as evidenced by their white bellies.
    And the secret in all of the refined koi varieties is the WHITE GENE presence. Without it you have common fish skin. And the individual fish will never be as bright and lusterous and will never 'last as long' as a white based fish.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mrbradleybradley;191641 If a breeder or hobbyst ever wished to refine hi utsui further by attempting to create tight motoguro, I would say forget it, at least without hoping for another mutation to remove the modifying gene or introduce another dominant combination.[/QUOTE]

    Undoubtedly a tough goal, but there is the Shiro Utsuri... a Showa without Hi. The goal could be found in Hi Showa without shiro. But, what would do with all the Hi Showa offspring over the generations it would take? Talk about needing a million to make a dollar!

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