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Thread: Goshiki, simple question really, but with an element of appreciation

  1. #1
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Goshiki, simple question really, but with an element of appreciation

    The sumi of goshiki, modern goshiki, if there really is such a thing, varies in look and dare I say 'atmosphere'. In recent years, in my conversations some people see base colour and some see pattern.

    What do you see?

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    Hi Bradley, hope you are well and life is good?
    Well, as you know, base pattern is taught by Japanese breeders and ZNA fundamentals as a way of understanding genetics in a very simple-straight forward way. And in that simplicity it doesn't even seem like it is a conversation about genetics but rather a passing comment about color "underneath" the pattern.

    And to a great degree that is all the lesson there is from the breeder source.

    But in a deeper understanding, there are two components:

    1) The physical aspect of base color
    2) The scientific aspect or abstract aspect of base color


    From the physical aspect we can look at base color like black as the back ground color. If one imagines a panel of tiny LED lights, then the color of the bulk of those tiny bulbs would be black and only ‘islands’ of other colors would exist. Or in a more complicated version like a Goshiki, we might see layer of these LED trays where the lights from below shin thru the lighting above and give a blended effect of colors. The ZNA teachings will teach the beginner that these colors ‘rise’ and ‘fall’ back into the skin as the fish grows and ages. Because in the physical explanation, one must rationalize how color appears and disappears within an overall base color background.

    The scientific aspect is really the better explanation however since genetics is not a physical competition of color. It is a matter of dominate gene expression in the phenotype. So if we used the LED grid metaphor again but from a genetics point of view, we would say that the ‘bulbs’ of different colors all occupy the same space! And a computer has the ability to control what color the bulbs will cast. This computer (DNA and its gene expression) might be programmed predominately to favor all black or all white. But also has sections of the grid programmed to express other colors in certain patterns. But here is the thing—this computer (DNA/gene expression) can change the colors and complexity of each bulb as time goes by. And that gene expression can have more black, less black or a mixture of red and black or partial illumination of shades of black at different times in the life of the grid (fish).

    I also liked to ask if Zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes! From the physical they are about 50/50 and there is no answer. But knowing the dominate gene type gives us an answer—A zebra is BLACK with white stripes!

    How do we know this? Simple, black is an activation of color and white is the removal of color. Only in mutations and selective breeding do we get koi that are white based and absent of all color as base gene expression and phenotype.

    So Goshiki from old blood is gene expression of ‘activated color’. White of ‘removal’ of color is an introduction to the black base.
    In extreme cases or ‘modern’ Goshiki we arrive at a koi that’s base gene expression and phenotype is now white based and only sections of ‘the grid’ express color and pattern.
    Anyone who is familiar with koi can identify when a Goshiki is all black based old style and on the other end of the spectrum when a Goshiki is all white based (from Gosanke breeding). BUT the real challenge is when we see an extremely color suppressed old style black based Goshiki. But there are still phenotypic markers that speak to the old style Karasu/old showa type.
    Interesting enough, it was trying to ‘make’ sanke Goshiki and showa Goshiki that made for the march towards modern Goshiki, yet the intermediate sanke and showa Goshiki really no longer show up any more.

    JR

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    On a fuuny note: I once was contacted by a hobbyist that wanted to get to the bottom of "this business I was always writing about on the net about showa being a black based fish!" This fella from another parish had dissected his culled showa to prove to me there was no 'black' under the showa frys' grey skin!! He said, and I paraphrase " I used tweezers to pull away the skin and only saw specks of black from what had sunk back into the skin-- NO black base! Just white and then pink! And you are a real elitist koi snob!"------ ;0 LOLs
    I chuckled for hours although I did feel sorry for the dozen showa fry he butchered!
    The image of sumi physically rising and falling has a physical component to it - in that, the sumi cells both cluster and dissociate as the dermis differentiates and expands. But at the source of this is the gene expression coming on as the skin layers develop and expand into individual structures and as the scales begin to grow out and cover the body. Lots of physiological changes going on at that point in a koi's development. The phenotype being a changing look as the geneotype expresses for age appropriate stages of development. JR

  4. #4
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    I really think this variety is really (finally) coming into it's own. The initial
    "5 colors" were kinda vague and the koi did not have an appeal to me at all.
    Over the last decade, the advances in quality and intense coloration has been really catching lots of folks' attention. Gonna give the Shiro Utsuri more competition for GC "B"........

    I think the most questions i ever got on the variety is it's pronounciation.

    "gosh-key" or Go-shee-kee
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Goshiki, simple question really, but with an element of appreciation-img_1895.jpg  

  5. #5
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    He said, and I paraphrase " I used tweezers to pull away the skin and only saw specks of black from what had sunk back into the skin-- NO black base! Just white and then pink! And you are a real elitist koi snob!"------ ;0
    Wow...just wow.
    Koi-Unit
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  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by dick benbow View Post
    I really think this variety is really (finally) coming into it's own. The initial
    "5 colors" were kinda vague and the koi did not have an appeal to me at all.
    Over the last decade, the advances in quality and intense coloration has been really catching lots of folks' attention. Gonna give the Shiro Utsuri more competition for GC "B"........

    I think the most questions i ever got on the variety is it's pronounciation.

    "gosh-key" or Go-shee-kee
    Nice Fish, Dick, JR

  7. #7
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Evening JR

    All is well, if not excessively wet downunder - we are forever a country of droughts & flooding rains. I mentioned once before about a million litre project, well that is now, sadly a flood plain but I digress.

    My own experience in this area, is a newbie sees a koi in a moment and has not yet appreciated koi are a developmental, timeline or series of timelines. A concept that is hard to get. How can a koi change from a kokaku to a goshiki for example? It is a hurdle for some to understand the genetic background of a fish and phenotype are the same and different things.

    Interesting you mention the sanke and showa influences. I was going to remark on a beautiful kuro goshiki I saw recently. Upon asking the owner of the origins, it turns out the koi comes from a sanke spawn. From what I can gather, the sanke started off with large Tsuba Sumi that increased over time to fill in the gaps between beni and down to below the lateral line. There is also black on the nose-mouth area and some over the gill plates. And there is something akin to motoguro. It would have been a nice koi to watch and a great lesson for the owner. Several people who veiwed the koi were quite keen to hold to veiw that it was still a sanke, but have now resolved to see the koi as much more than it's parents, but something of a phenotype from two genotypes - a light-bulb moment.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbradleybradley View Post
    Evening JR

    All is well, if not excessively wet downunder - we are forever a country of droughts & flooding rains. I mentioned once before about a million litre project, well that is now, sadly a flood plain but I digress.

    O no! Very sorry to hear that! Chin up.

    My own experience in this area, is a newbie sees a koi in a moment and has not yet appreciated koi are a developmental, timeline or series of timelines.

    Very wise comment and very true.



    A concept that is hard to get. How can a koi change from a kokaku to a goshiki for example? It is a hurdle for some to understand the genetic background of a fish and phenotype are the same and different things.

    Yep. variety is not an illusion but still, it is just a word to describe phenotype. Many koi varieties are transitional gene expressions and therefore changing phenotypes



    Interesting you mention the sanke and showa influences. I was going to remark on a beautiful kuro goshiki I saw recently. Upon asking the owner of the origins, it turns out the koi comes from a sanke spawn. From what I can gather, the sanke started off with large Tsuba Sumi that increased over time to fill in the gaps between beni and down to below the lateral line. There is also black on the nose-mouth area and some over the gill plates. And there is something akin to motoguro. It would have been a nice koi to watch and a great lesson for the owner. Several people who veiwed the koi were quite keen to hold to veiw that it was still a sanke, but have now resolved to see the koi as much more than it's parents, but something of a phenotype from two genotypes - a light-bulb moment.
    Two comments:

    As you know, there is the phenotype expressed by the oyagoi in the young ( and most folks and breeders only look for that influence). And then there is the 'echo' of the mutation of the general mutation pool the spawn rises from. So I think it would be no shock if we saw an all white fry in that span, a benigoi and a crow . AS WELL as combinations or blends of the parent's phenotype.
    The idea of the normal punnett square is real. But also as real is that 'echo' from a greater gene pool. Indeed THAT is split into two realities in phenotype- What I call the 'near' effect- which is the presence of immediate genot/pheno types in the spawn such as many white based varieties like kohaku, tancho, shiro muji and benigoi -- and then the 'far' effect, which means in that spawn you might see crow or metallic skin or bekko.


    You are on a very strong path of understanding Bradley. I'm sure that your fellow hobbyists think you are imagining thinks ! LOLS. But patient with them them! LOLs. The clouds will part for them at some point.
    It is normal for the intermediate hobbyists to see a spawn as a four box punnett square and the rest are culls. But the culls tell us the genetic story of the creation of the nishikigoi clan. Indeed culls are only 'junk' from a purposeful spawn. But there is a lot more to learn from the entire spawn for the koi student. I'm here to tell you that I have probably known and talked to ( sometimes in great depth) at least 100 breeders over the years. And some of the very best breeders in the world. Others just back yard producers. And I can tell you that only 20% understand what you and I are talking about. The 'greats' all have our perspective. But there are plenty, even in Japan, that are so focused on the goal of the breeding that they are clueless as to the understanding of the big picture. This is not a putdown-- in a way it is a tribute. But if one really wants to understand koi. one really needed to grasp the perspective we are sharing. It helps breeder tremendeously in the area of test breedings and it should be the at the core of every koi judge and exhibitor. JR

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