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Thread: Revisiting the karasu clan

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    Revisiting the karasu clan

    Revisiting the Karasu clan
    The exhibitor of show koi should be the most avid of koi appreciation students. And to be a good student in koi as living art, we need to know the key points in nishikigoi development, it’s gene pool and what also what varieties are most important and why.
    That journey begins with magoi of course and specifically asagi magoi. In that line we have red, black, modified black and eventually white.
    I’ll say it to drive the drill and also to make an Omni present thought in the reader’s mind--- ZNA teaches that all koi are either white or black based in fundamental genetics.
    I’m going to skip over the sumi and beni conversation and go directly to the lowly Karasu clan to illustrate a few points.
    The Karasu type is not a grand show fish! It is not even given its own variety classification at the koi show! Most exhibitors see classifications are simple slots in which their koi is exhibited. But the ZNA koi show is a lesson from beginning to end, and the classifications are lessons in and of themselves for the koi student that is paying attention! In that series of classifications is the lesson of BLACK base and WHITE based fish. A KEY point of understanding. Even Hikari types are placed in classification so as to separate out the white based fish from the black based fish.
    The Karasu goi are the hyper-sumi koi that first gave us the white spreading gene . This gene existed in Asagi long before but in a different gene expression and phenotype. In the case of Karasu clan, only the white bellied individual is of real value. The red belly fish being a common throw back to asagi. But the white bellied individual expresses only white spreading gene on hypermelanistic individuals) and as such represents all the advances made in the Karasu clan. In other words, as Karasu spread this gene to head, tail, fins (groups of fins at a time) new degrees of white are recognized as varieties. And eventually, white integrates with the hyper sumi of the body. Do not confuse this progression with the doitsu branch of this group. That group brought us kumonryu and then a series of doubling back to asagi with unstable individual looks and lines. In truth, only the kumonryu and copies of the established wagoi Karasu versions in scale-less form are actually varieties. The branch beyond this is a doubling back to asagi and that is why some beni kumonryu look exactly like shusui. It is not unlike running down the piano keys of black and white and then reversing direction and running back up the keys! JR


  2. #2
    Tategoi bobbysuzanna's Avatar
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    Any good pictures to help the visual learners?

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    Meg
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    is this a common throw back to asai or does the distinct white division have it going in the right direction up the piano keys? or is it something in between?



  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Good topic, JR. Many have the sense that the Karasugoi are a primitive stage in the progression from Magoi to Nishikigoi. I see them as a giant step removed from the wild roots. Since people seldom see Magoi, I think the misunderstanding comes from thinking Magoi are actually black, when they are a murky blend of dark color tones giving an impression of black from a distance, but not truly black. Karasugoi do possess true black coloration, albeit not as intense as found in the gosanke.

    The Karusugoi are not much appreciated in the pond, except for those individuals in a phase displaying substantial amounts of white. So, the Matsukawabake (and Kumonryu) have popularity until maturity results in a solid black fish. The darkness of the Karasugoi hides them in the mature pond, while other types stand out against the dark background. In the blue show tank, the story is different. A Hajiro, with just highlights of white, becomes magnificent and never fails to draw attention... oftentimes even more attention than Shiro Utsuri.

    Occasionally I will see a larger sized, say 24-inch Hajiro on a dealer's website, often priced like a good gosanke. More often, I see tubs of large tosai or small nisai priced in the $100-$150 range... quite a mark-up I suspect. They seem intensely black against the bright blue of those tubs.

    Lighting angles play games with the eye when it comes to Karasugoi sumi. What seems as black as obsidian becomes charcoal as one views the fish from different angles. But, even charcoal can look good against blue.

    I do not believe I have ever seen a Hajiro over 26-27 inches (65-68cm). Are there 80bu specimens? I imagine they would be more popular if they grew huge like a Chagoi.

    I am not aware of the purposeful breeding of Hajiro. Does it occur? My guess is that they come as by-products from Goshiki crosses and perhaps Kumonryu spawns, with most being culled or bulk sold early on. But, I do not know how the ones we see are obtained.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    Good morning Meg. Asagi strong in this baby. Karasu, by definition is a black koi with a red belly. Asagi is of course a black/grey or blue koi with a red belly. The early asagi was greyish black and konjo is still quite dark. But Karasu is hyper black and the red is a mutation of black.
    The reason asagi got more blueish is because the black is offset or infused with white so that to the human eye it appears blue. We used to refer to this as the depth the black is viewed from. Today a more scientific way to look at this is as gene expression of white and black in the phenotype as blue. This fish is infused with white but its belly is red. This is why, in Japan, the fish with the white belly is more valued than the red belly fish ( red belly is not really a show fish for instance.
    The white spreading gene progressed as follows;
    1) Hajiro - a black fish with the slightest tipping of white on tail and pectoral fins.
    2) Hageshiro- spreading gene in its second degree expression- an all white head in addition to white progressive appointments of pecs, and tail.
    3) Yotsushiro - spreading or modification white gene on all areas including all fins/dorsal and head. More profuse gene expression in its third degree expression
    5) Matsukawabake-- a complete intregration of modification gene into the hyper melanistic body.
    6) Suminagashi - a complete integration of modification white gene to form a white vignette pattern over the hyper melanistic body.
    7) kumonryu-- not to be mistaken for doitsu versions of any of the above varieties. This fish is doitsu but retains the doitsu pattern influence which is a lateral pattern and forms the 'nine dragons' or clouds. In other words, the name refers to the pattern and color and not any fish that is doitsu and from the other karasu clan wagoi.


    Asagi based karasu can be lovely fish but they always grow and remind one of asagi as adults-- maybe it is the color orientation of red belly or maybe it is the atmosphere. Here are two of mine-- one is a doitsu asagi and the other is a doitsu karasu goi. They look like twins of different colors--- JR
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Revisiting the karasu clan-brace.jpg  

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Good topic, JR. Many have the sense that the Karasugoi are a primitive stage in the progression from Magoi to Nishikigoi. I see them as a giant step removed from the wild roots. Since people seldom see Magoi, I think the misunderstanding comes from thinking Magoi are actually black, when they are a murky blend of dark color tones giving an impression of black from a distance, but not truly black. Karasugoi do possess true black coloration, albeit not as intense as found in the gosanke.
    Morning Mike. Majoi can be pretty dark and black is present. I''l find that picture of the big one and post it here. But youa re correct in that karasu carry a genetic mutation where their bodies make too much black ( a hyper melanistic condition) and they are BLACK BLACK!

    The Karusugoi are not much appreciated in the pond, except for those individuals in a phase displaying substantial amounts of white. So, the Matsukawabake (and Kumonryu) have popularity until maturity results in a solid black fish. The darkness of the Karasugoi hides them in the mature pond, while other types stand out against the dark background. In the blue show tank, the story is different. A Hajiro, with just highlights of white, becomes magnificent and never fails to draw attention... oftentimes even more attention than Shiro Utsuri.
    They can be very nice and on some cases, I've seen shiro utsuri entered in shows that were actually of karasu/hajiro blood. I owned one actually that won GC at an early MAKC show as a shiro!
    Occasionally I will see a larger sized, say 24-inch Hajiro on a dealer's website, often priced like a good gosanke. More often, I see tubs of large tosai or small nisai priced in the $100-$150 range... quite a mark-up I suspect. They seem intensely black against the bright blue of those tubs.
    Last time I was at Momotaro's I saw a kumonryu there ( actually it was a doitsu hajiro that was at least 80 bu!

    Lighting angles play games with the eye when it comes to Karasugoi sumi. What seems as black as obsidian becomes charcoal as one views the fish from different angles. But, even charcoal can look good against blue.
    That depends on how much luster the fish has. If you look at the one of mine I posted, you will see high luster. Its a shame they don't breed these much any more.

    I do not believe I have ever seen a Hajiro over 26-27 inches (65-68cm). Are there 80bu specimens? I imagine they would be more popular if they grew huge like a Chagoi.
    Most are not too big as was typical when these types were popular with 27 inches being about it and most got only to about 24-26 inches. I have noticed that the doitsu varieties tend to get bigger. But then again there are distinct types of kumonryu that stay small and others with hajiro patterns that get very large. ??
    I am not aware of the purposeful breeding of Hajiro. Does it occur? My guess is that they come as by-products from Goshiki crosses and perhaps Kumonryu spawns, with most being culled or bulk sold early on. But, I do not know how the ones we see are obtained.
    There was a time when they were bred but because kohaku gets better money most of the breeders shifted to the bread and butter kohaku for the money. Then when koi breeding crashed in Japan in the early 1990s, the number of breeders in general dropped by 2/3 and many breeders who bred ' the other varieties' were gone. Gosanke mania continued and the rest is history.


    Here's that magoi photo from the eary 1990s.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Revisiting the karasu clan-biggen.jpg  

  7. #7
    Jumbo
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    110cm, Jumbo award Kawarigoi (Izumiya)

    第48回新潟県錦鯉品評会 - YouTube

  8. #8
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    My favourute fish without doubt is those on the karasu clan.

    There is distinct feature of karasu-clan derived koi that your fish has Meg. That all so very black eye.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Kindai View Post
    110cm, Jumbo award Kawarigoi (Izumiya)

    第48回新潟県錦鯉品評会 - YouTube
    Thank you for the link. Quite a koi! ...would be better in a lighter blue tank.

    Fish like this always cause me to wonder how it came to be that the koi was kept and grown to such size. Was she marked with bright white when young? Did she demonstrate remarkable growth, so held? I am sure there is an interesting story leading up to her Jumbo Award triumph.

  10. #10
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    Good Morning Mike. ( here I go again!) Go to Izumiya and see his set up. The generations there like their big koi! He has one green house with many 10-15 long concrete tanks ( huge and deep) and they are FILLED with big fish of all types- but mostly Yamabuki, Purachina and misc chagoi with a few odd balls and many showa and kohaku mixed in here and there. This is also the place where you get up close to fighting bulls as there one right outside the facility. And if you go across the street you can get a something to eat at the local convience store ( if you can figure out anything there beyond the soda and apples!) LOLs. JR
    PS watch out for that golden retriever on the chain-- he is not like our goldens! He Bites!! And he does not like Gaijins! Some say he got it from Izumiya senior who also didn't like white boys! JR

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