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Thread: Showa

  1. #11
    Nisai Sanke56's Avatar
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    Mike the showa has a nice even pattern and the black and red on the head are nice. Should the head be whiter? It seems yellowish. I have seen others like that. How old and large is this fish. Yes the one I posted was just taken a couple of weeks ago and it has very little light these days.

  2. #12
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Can't post other pics until I get them downsized, and then I doubt they will reveal the questions about this fish the way larger pics would.

    Sanke56: The yellow head is one of the questions about her future. Will it whiten? Another is the size of the pectorals in relation to the body. A third is the pattern in the pecs ... will motoguru develop? (This pic is from November. More recently, the pecs have become more nearly solid black.) A fourth is the hi: it is not as strong as the pic indicates. Individual scales have transparent edges and there is a thinness that raises the really scary question: Will it fade? Fifth, that's a lot of sumi and this is a nissai ... not yet 2 years old. Will the sumi overrun everything? Will the great odome disappear? Will the checkerboard pattern be obliterated? Sixth, viewed in a close-up you'd see that the shiro is pretty good, but has the usual unfinished quality of a young fish ... so, all the normal questions about how the shiroji will mature. Seventh, and perhaps the scariest: If the answers to the first 6 questions are "probably turn out fine", why would an experienced breeder like Marusada let her go as nissai?

    So, with all those questions, why invest dollars, pond space and energy in her future? .... I'll let folks think about it for a while and explain my reasons later.

    Your other question: She is over 20".

  3. #13
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Here is a close-up of a portion of her.

  4. #14
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    And here is another from a different angle with lighting that highlights her lesser virtues. Now the lack of uniformity in hi and sumi is visible, as well as other characteristics.

  5. #15
    Nisai Sanke56's Avatar
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    Mike this is still a great fish and it may have the genetics to pass on some even greater characteristics. I would like to have her for a spawning but of course we would have to find the appropriate male. But I will have to work with what I have got. I have some nice orange and black Utsiri mono's what would you think of crossing then witha nice kohaku would I get some nice sanke and showa or am i better off to cross showa with showa they are all from sakai

  6. #16
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Sanke56: I'm not the one to advise on breeding koi. Brady or Brett are the ones to look to ... maybe Dick or Maurice have tried crossing hi utsuri and could give some tips.

    I'd guess that you'd get a real mixed bag of results. The hi and sumi of utsuri are both very different from that of sanke and kohaku. Showa kinda depends on where a fish falls in the spectrum of refinement from old showa bloodlines to the modern crosses with kohaku and sanke. But, bet you'd have fun watching what develops!

    You know, we hobbyists can engage in projects just for the fun of it. A professional breeder does not have as much latitude. Their livelihood depends on marketable results. They have to identify a goal and plan on how to reach it. Then devote their capacity, time & energy to it. The more I learn about koi, the more I admire the patience, frustration and sweat a successful breeder has had to put into their endeavors. They have to love it. Certainly far easier ways to earn a living. And, we hobbyists never fully appreciate all they do to build the hobby for our greater enjoyment.

    We all need each other ... breeders, dealers, hobbyists, suppliers. And, unlike so many other lines of business, the breeders and dealers give so much free advice not directly related to their own self-interest ... indeed, sometimes contrary to it! Well, I'm rambling, so I'll stop.

  7. #17
    Nisai Sanke56's Avatar
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    Mike you are right many of my crosses have not turned out the way I had hoped or expected. So far I haven't really gotten any that I want to carry further and try rebreeding them. I see some of the guys on this site have produced some interesting and impressive offspring. I better stick to sanke and showa in my crosses. Good point thanks. I don't mind your rambling it is like having a conversation and you get to understand a person a little better.

    I don't try and to make a living with koi and keep trying to get better stock and refine my skills.
    The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!

  8. #18
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Back to the Marusada Showa ... I looked at her for 3 months before deciding to get her. I figured the yellow would lighten, and maybe whiten. I have a Bekko with a similar head that is now almost white at age 6. And, I've seen un-touched-up photos of Showa prize winners from early '90s with "flesh tone" heads that looked pretty good to me. So, even if the head stays a tad yellow, I'd be satisfied. I studied the sumi a lot & feel there will be more, but that it will enhance the checkerboard, not erase it. I figure the white will be O.K., and maybe really nice. But, the hi is a real question and the pecs are undersized. I sought advice from a couple of people who know a lot more than me. Based on what they told me, I decided that the hi was either going to fade away or it was going to fill-in, but it would never be the thick, rich hi that everyone wants. And, I concluded that the pecs would always be undersized. I decided not to get her. I'd save my pennies (and the price of season theatre tickets), waiting for the "right" fish.

    Then I thought about what attracted me to begin with ... her massive size and how striking her pattern is ... Over 20" at nisai, thick tail, such strong body lines and that hump behind her head. A couple of years ago an article mentioned that Marusada had a 40" Showa parent fish. ... Sakai stock. (Sanke56: Notice the similarity in the shape of the tail joint compared to your showa?) I kept thinking about how big she could grow. .... In the end I ignored some cautionary advice and decided the risk of utter failure was worth the pleasure she would provide watching to see how all the parts come together. I have to say the advice I received was not wasted. It was very helpful in deciding the risks were acceptable.

    I do not know why old Ikarashi at Marusada decided to part with her at nisai, but I'm glad he did. What I have to wonder, however, is what did he keep to grow another year?

  9. #19
    Nisai Sanke56's Avatar
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    So Mike you think my showa would grow to a big size too. All the fish I have pictured are from Sakai of course they are not necessarily the pick of the litter. What I need to do is have less fish so I can concentrate on growing out those special fish. Either that or build a huge winter pond indoors.

    So how long have you had your fish? Where do you keep her? What is the water temp?I know some people in Texas got 14 inches on a fish in one year. That is in big ponds that are warm all year. I could do that too if only the climate would co-operate yea right!

  10. #20
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Not much you can do about climate, but yea, I think she has the potential for growth. Even if you can't get her really big, I think the body shape will stay strong and make her stay attractive a long time.

    Your Sakai fish may not be his top fish, but that does not make them "bad". I think it is all a question of what you want from your fish. Last year I decided to get a fish with the genetic potential to grow large but without spending very much. I wanted to see what I could do in a year. So, I got a 15" female Nogami kohaku with the ugliest pattern! She was much more affordable than the Nogami kohaku I usually see. But, she looked like she could get large. I have not bowled her to measure ... still have 2 months to go, but she is as long as a sanke that was 24" a year ago and has grown some since. She still has the gawky look of a koi that needs to grow some more. Now I'm wanting to keep her another year and see if she will get to 30+".

    After that? She may not be a pretty fish, but if she becomes my largest, I'll not be able to part with her very easily. ... oldest, largest, best quality, best pattern, best red, best black, best white ... I've got them all, but none in the same fish!! :lol:

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