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Thread: having a vision for the hobby

  1. #11
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamato View Post
    I would like to know your opinion of Koi as pets...what place do they have in all this?
    All show koi are also pets I think? I say that because it would be pretty hard to observe, care for and know every small detail of a koi without feeling something for the animal!
    In truth, one of the universal things I find in all koi kichi is that they have a deep interest in nature and living things. So nurturing a show fish is an act of love that comes naturally to animal lovers. And koi kichi are usually animal lovers.

    It really doesn't matter if you approach koi from the idea that you need to care for a show koi in order to compete in a show, or you have a pet koi that you are committed to keep well-- it really is the same goal approached from different ends of the same string-- they both meet in the middle.
    Now I have helped scores of people correct problems in their back yard ponds. And many have treated their koi like 'wooden objects that move'. Indeed I have met landscaper types who refer to pond fish as 'seasonals'. meaning they don't do much to keep their koi thru the winter.
    Many a ponder board talks about how cute it is to see their pets sleeping under the ice in winter! The poor 'pets' are holding on for their dear lives waiting for spring to come. Meanwhile the misunderstood show fish keeper is hooking their heating system up to the pond, covering it and building indoor shelters to spare the 'show fish' the brutality of winter. So you tell me, who sees their charges as valuable pets more-- the avid show koi kichi or the causal garden who keeps koi in their goldfish ponds and has a name for each one of them? see my point? JR

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamato View Post
    He he he! Mike!
    Are U saying Koi shows have taken some of the pure enjoyment of Koi out of the hobby, and burdened people with overspending?
    This one is for mike to field. But I'll pipe in this---- koi can be an addiction and an obsession. And many a hobbyist has burdened themselves too much financially in the hunt for the perfect koi. But I have to say, I have seen garden ponders stock ponds year after year and buy junk koi by the dozens. And most mellow and experienced hobbyists rarely own more than a dozen koi or so. ( 18 seems to be a common count).
    So buying koi has a limit and no one should try and compete with those blessed with deep pockets.
    One of my favorite exhibitor types at shows I judge are those that are 'gunning' for baby champion. That is not an expensive fish ( although it can be). I know of many that were purchased for $100- $300. When you consider that if all goes well you will have that koi for 20 years, it is truly a smart purchase.
    This past ZNA annual meeting and socal ZNA show, I awarded the best novice with a hand picked tosai showa ( instead or the usual glass trophy) That fish was picked personally by Dainichi San from his home facility in Japan ( special arrangements made) now that was an award! Not too expensive but the symbolism is powerful. JR

  3. #13
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamato View Post
    He he he! Mike!
    Are U saying Koi shows have taken some of the pure enjoyment of Koi out of the hobby, and burdened people with overspending?
    Perhaps in a sense? ...I'm glad I made you smile.

    Koikeeping is often spoken about as a journey. Usually that is said in relation to the growth in knowledge about koi and how a deeper appreciation of the finer points of quality and development arises with experience. There is another journey taken in tandem, a more personal one. The new koikeeper can be captured by the prettiness of koi. Even quite ordinary ones are quite the pretty fish. They may also be captured by the notion of having something of great value, having read about koi selling for small fortunes. We see these folks reflected in some of the hyperbolic marketing on Ebay. Still, there is enjoyment to be had from the belief that you possess something special and costly. The myth of the grand champion found in the $20 tosai vat feeds the notion. It is an illusion arising from colorful writing and commercial marketing, and in the delusional state the person is happy, proud and content. Then, as reality sinks in, which a koi show can definitely bring about, the koi once seen as special becomes ordinary and cheap. Some of the pleasure is lost. The person suffering from the koi addiction needs a stronger fix, and the pursuit of the grand, gorgeous koi commences. And, that is an expensive addiction.

    I do not believe anyone re-captures the moment of wonderment experienced when they first came upon koi. Rather, the enjoyment comes from a maturing appreciation of nishikigoi; and, in time, that appreciation moves beyond a judging perspective to an admiration of a koi for the magnificence of the living creature. There is, I think, something of a circle in the personal journey. A point comes when a well-grown ordinary koi can bring moments that echo the wonderment of the novice.

    There are so many stages in the journey of the koikeeper. I do not know all of them. I am still on the journey. I do think we lose hobbyists at each stage because, for whatever reason, they cannot move to the next. Koikeeping becomes more time-consuming work than pleasure, and the hobbyist moves on. Perhaps the time will come when I feel that way. I don't know. I do know that this summer I'm enjoying my old Hariwake, who hatched in the lily pond over 18 years ago, get followed by the three (formerly) tosai Kohaku I got in April. They've learned from her how pellets sometimes get caught in the leaves of a plant that hangs into the pond. (I gotta cut that back! ...more work.) The Hariwake has not been to a show and never will be. Those 'not little any more' Kohaku? Perhaps in time one will be 'Best Kohaku'.... Or, something more?
    Last edited by MikeM; 06-19-2012 at 08:38 AM.

  4. #14
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    Mike, as our newest President of a ZNA chapter and a long time koi exhibitor at Florida shows, I'd like to ask your opinion on the different award levels in a koi show.
    Specifically, what weight/value would your give to say, size four kohaku where ( as often happens in the NoCal and SoCal chapter - our premiere ZNA shows and keepers of the culture) 15 very good kohaku are 'challenging one another for 1st. Best, JR

  5. #15
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Mike, as our newest President of a ZNA chapter and a long time koi exhibitor at Florida shows, I'd like to ask your opinion on the different award levels in a koi show.
    Specifically, what weight/value would your give to say, size four kohaku where ( as often happens in the NoCal and SoCal chapter - our premiere ZNA shows and keepers of the culture) 15 very good kohaku are 'challenging one another for 1st. Best, JR
    This question goes to the heart of what a koi show is about. It is not the awards themselves. We all know the ranking of awards. This question relates to the recognition of excellence an award represents. It is not uncommon for there to be only a couple of fish seriously competing for top honors in each size and for grand champion overall. The winner is still the winner, but how competitive was the contest? When there are several in a size in serious contention, the judges' eyes must be especially keen. Nuanced differences become important. The award for Best in Size 4 may not rank at the top of the awards list, but to win it in such a competition is full of meaning. It recognizes excellence that is earned, and is not an award won by default. I would much rather win such an award than to take Best in Size 7 with the only Size 7 fish that did not get selected for a higher honor.

  6. #16
    Tategoi Yamato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    All show koi are also pets I think? I say that because it would be pretty hard to observe, care for and know every small detail of a koi without feeling something for the animal!
    In truth, one of the universal things I find in all koi kichi is that they have a deep interest in nature and living things. So nurturing a show fish is an act of love that comes naturally to animal lovers. And koi kichi are usually animal lovers.

    It really doesn't matter if you approach koi from the idea that you need to care for a show koi in order to compete in a show, or you have a pet koi that you are committed to keep well-- it really is the same goal approached from different ends of the same string-- they both meet in the middle.
    Now I have helped scores of people correct problems in their back yard ponds. And many have treated their koi like 'wooden objects that move'. Indeed I have met landscaper types who refer to pond fish as 'seasonals'. meaning they don't do much to keep their koi thru the winter.
    Many a ponder board talks about how cute it is to see their pets sleeping under the ice in winter! The poor 'pets' are holding on for their dear lives waiting for spring to come. Meanwhile the misunderstood show fish keeper is hooking their heating system up to the pond, covering it and building indoor shelters to spare the 'show fish' the brutality of winter. So you tell me, who sees their charges as valuable pets more-- the avid show koi kichi or the causal garden who keeps koi in their goldfish ponds and has a name for each one of them? see my point? JR
    JR, Mistreating Koi of any type is wrong...Dont attribute it to people that dont show in general...
    I was thinking more in the lines of:
    Loving your Koi no Matter what...looking after it to the best of your ability...Not giving it away or putting it to sleep because it has a scar...or lost its Hi or shape...or because it does not grow...
    Those a good things I can attribute to people that genuinely treat their Koi as beloved pets.

  7. #17
    Tategoi Yamato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Perhaps in a sense? ...I'm glad I made you smile.

    Koikeeping is often spoken about as a journey. Usually that is said in relation to the growth in knowledge about koi and how a deeper appreciation of the finer points of quality and development arises with experience. There is another journey taken in tandem, a more personal one. The new koikeeper can be captured by the prettiness of koi. Even quite ordinary ones are quite the pretty fish. They may also be captured by the notion of having something of great value, having read about koi selling for small fortunes. We see these folks reflected in some of the hyperbolic marketing on Ebay. Still, there is enjoyment to be had from the belief that you possess something special and costly. The myth of the grand champion found in the $20 tosai vat feeds the notion. It is an illusion arising from colorful writing and commercial marketing, and in the delusional state the person is happy, proud and content. Then, as reality sinks in, which a koi show can definitely bring about, the koi once seen as special becomes ordinary and cheap. Some of the pleasure is lost. The person suffering from the koi addiction needs a stronger fix, and the pursuit of the grand, gorgeous koi commences. And, that is an expensive addiction.

    I do not believe anyone re-captures the moment of wonderment experienced when they first came upon koi. Rather, the enjoyment comes from a maturing appreciation of nishikigoi; and, in time, that appreciation moves beyond a judging perspective to an admiration of a koi for the magnificence of the living creature. There is, I think, something of a circle in the personal journey. A point comes when a well-grown ordinary koi can bring moments that echo the wonderment of the novice.

    There are so many stages in the journey of the koikeeper. I do not know all of them. I am still on the journey. I do think we lose hobbyists at each stage because, for whatever reason, they cannot move to the next. Koikeeping becomes more time-consuming work than pleasure, and the hobbyist moves on. Perhaps the time will come when I feel that way. I don't know. I do know that this summer I'm enjoying my old Hariwake, who hatched in the lily pond over 18 years ago, get followed by the three (formerly) tosai Kohaku I got in April. They've learned from her how pellets sometimes get caught in the leaves of a plant that hangs into the pond. (I gotta cut that back! ...more work.) The Hariwake has not been to a show and never will be. Those 'not little any more' Kohaku? Perhaps in time one will be 'Best Kohaku'.... Or, something more?
    Each one of Us derives different type of pleasure from Koi...We just need to learn to respect that...as long as it makes people happy...
    I think that the hope of finding a GC in a 20 usd vat...is one of those thing...
    I think of the Koi I bought for USD1.5 each...for sale...I kept some of them...I know they will keep me hoping...dreaming...imagining thins that all will bring me lots of Joy...much more than anything I buy for USD1.5...
    What more can I ask for?
    I keep Koi because they bring me lots of joy...and love them unconditionally.

  8. #18
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    Mike you a nishikigoi bodhisattva. Your intuition is instructive, the circle metaphor is apt to the matter at hand. At some point we ‘saw’ nishikigoi and then seeing a point further along set out on the nishikigoi path. But the memory of the first look ever bends us circle back to the beginning, a second dimension of the nishikigoi path. Knowing that you can never quite return to point one steps us back again to observe the circle become a spiral. You spiral upward, there are few through which the positive spirit of nishikigoi speaks so clearly. Nishikigoi, art they are, invite us to step outside of ourselves and participate in the many leveled beauty. Actions speak louder than words, so when Mike says enjoy, and then enjoys it captures for me the renewed vision of (American) nishikigoi that is now emerging. The path of renewal is not destructive of koi culture, quite the opposite. What I hear at club meetings, what I read online and in email tells me that a page has been turned in American Koi Keeping and a new chapter is being penned that respects the past, designs the future, and builds it now. There is no time like the present (I believe the word is enjoy).

    Yamato with an attitude like that I am surprised that you’ve lasted for 300 posts at KB!

  9. #19
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamato View Post
    Loving your Koi no Matter what...looking after it to the best of your ability...Not giving it away or putting it to sleep because it has a scar...or lost its Hi or shape...or because it does not grow...
    I guess then you could love a fish to death.

    Not being able to cull Koi after they have grown and spawned in your pond will eventually lead to mother nature doing the cull for you.

  10. #20
    Tategoi Yamato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I guess then you could love a fish to death.

    Not being able to cull Koi after they have grown and spawned in your pond will eventually lead to mother nature doing the cull for you.
    He h ehe! I put the culls in the dam!
    If they survive good for them...We have bubble and tilapia there...but the dam is huge!

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