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Thread: is there such thing as a 'counterfeit' koi?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    is there such thing as a 'counterfeit' koi?

    There are a lot of reality shows on these days. Most I find staged and boring but a few do tend to pull me in! Pawn shops, picker etc seem to have the ability to keep me watching for the full half hour ( time stolen and never gotten back!!) LOLs I mean, they should be boring but some how they are not? Art, history, the fascination with the old and things with a story-- I get hooked.

    A new one now, showing a 'detective' of art that sniffs out the 'real' from the 'fake' is making the promotion commercials rounds. I watched those commercials and found I was being pulled in! And like all things observed in every day life-- my thinking eventually came around to KOI!

    Unlike a master who paints in oils and charcoals, koi masters paint in genetics. And although great artists have been known to paint or draw one piece and then make a hundred prints, koi masters make a production and then cull all that are not in the 'mind's eye' of the master as a good representation of what they are after.

    How often have we seen a tank full of "Dainichi" or a sales vat full of "Matsunosuke"?! Can these masters be so prolific?? yes and no. In each spawn, there are rejects or fakes and there are also single elements of that 'art' demonstrated on castoffs. Raw or blurred Proofs if you will.
    And there is another explanation -- often an unknown artist will work with a specific line and call his work " Dainichi" fish or "Matsunosuke" fish. Just as American breeders will correct me when I call there efforts " Domestic fish". I'm told they are " Japanese koi bred in America". This explains how students of the masters are able to represent their work as the original, I think?

    In the end, there is the Original master Piece made and selected as such by the Artist himself. There are his lesser prints and proofs and there are those that attempt to make limited prints of the original. There is a market for all of this.
    But if you wish to have your art piece appraised by a trained critic of this art, bring your master piece to the koi show for authentication. Its fun, its challenging and its VERY rewarding ( don't believe me? Just try it and see) ! I would think, at the end of the day, one would want to know what they own- an original, a great copy, a poor copy or a fake!
    there's more to koi than meets the eye. JR
    dh1 likes this.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=JasPR;204929]There are a lot of reality shows on these days. Most I find staged and boring but

    I have a question Is a koi A Japanese koi if born in the US and can it be called a Japanese koi if it is born outside Japan,
    Regards
    Eugene

  3. #3
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    How often have we seen a tank full of "Dainichi" or a sales vat full of "Matsunosuke"?! Can these masters be so prolific?? yes and no. In each spawn, there are rejects or fakes and there are also single elements of that 'art' demonstrated on castoffs. Raw or blurred Proofs if you will.
    And there is another explanation -- often an unknown artist will work with a specific line and call his work " Dainichi" fish or "Matsunosuke" fish. JR
    To the point about the unknown artist. Do the breeders sometimes buy from smaller farms and sell some of it mixed in with their stock? Or how does a small unknown breeder with decent brood stock go about selling his crop? I would imagine some of the unknown artists have some sort of family ties or other connections to the known breeders.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Eugeneg;204930]
    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    There are a lot of reality shows on these days. Most I find staged and boring but

    I have a question Is a koi A Japanese koi if born in the US and can it be called a Japanese koi if it is born outside Japan,
    Regards
    Eugene
    Perhaps if the breeders were from Japan. Like if Kodama got into breeding in Hawaii.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    When I read the title of the thread, first thing that crossed my mind was breeders such as Ogata purchasing koi from various small unknown breeders and selling them under the Ogata name.

    I know that these questions have been asked before but thought I would ask them again:

    1. How many of you can look at a particular koi and know exactly who the breeder is?

    2. How many of you can look at a particular koi and know whether it is bred in Japan or US?

    To be able to afford a well known artist's original master piece, I would have to refinance my house and withdraw my retirement and kids' college savings account.....................nah, I will just play with his lesser prints, the artwork that he tossed aside.

  6. #6
    Tategoi bobbysuzanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lam Nguyen View Post
    When I read the title of the thread, first thing that crossed my mind was breeders such as Ogata purchasing koi from various small unknown breeders and selling them under the Ogata name.

    I know that these questions have been asked before but thought I would ask them again:

    1. How many of you can look at a particular koi and know exactly who the breeder is?

    2. How many of you can look at a particular koi and know whether it is bred in Japan or US?

    To be able to afford a well known artist's original master piece, I would have to refinance my house and withdraw my retirement and kids' college savings account.....................nah, I will just play with his lesser prints, the artwork that he tossed aside.
    But isn't that the fun? Trying to find a koi that's perfect for you, in your price range?

  7. #7
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Eugeneg;204930]
    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    There are a lot of reality shows on these days. Most I find staged and boring but

    I have a question Is a koi A Japanese koi if born in the US and can it be called a Japanese koi if it is born outside Japan,
    Regards
    Eugene
    Koi can and are called most everything. I don't have a problem with koi being called Japanese koi unless the seller is trying to mislead the buyer into thinking they were bred in Japan when they were bred somewhere else. Something like American bred Japanese koi seems to me an appropriate label. With the huge strides made today by several top quality american breeders I know they are proud of both the Japanese genetics and American breeding.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzyfish View Post
    To the point about the unknown artist. Do the breeders sometimes buy from smaller farms and sell some of it mixed in with their stock? Or how does a small unknown breeder with decent brood stock go about selling his crop? I would imagine some of the unknown artists have some sort of family ties or other connections to the known breeders.
    Yes, Japanese breeder buy koi from smaller less known breeders to sell. With the realities of KHV today I believe this happens much less frequently and with greater caution than in the past. I believe you should always ask a lot of questions when buying koi regardless of the seller. I ask questions like, are you the breeder? Parent koi genetics, Age, Sex, % finished, i.e. when it should be ready to show., etc. etc.

    Some small breeders set up temporary display tanks beside the main roads in the fall. Also there are large and small koi dealers in Japan that buy from breeders and sell to their customers.
    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.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lam Nguyen View Post
    When I read the title of the thread, first thing that crossed my mind was breeders such as Ogata purchasing koi from various small unknown breeders and selling them under the Ogata name.

    I know that these questions have been asked before but thought I would ask them again:

    1. How many of you can look at a particular koi and know exactly who the breeder is?
    Many more experienced hobbyist can look at koi with a mix of specific genetic traits and identify type. Classic Matsunosuke Sanke for example has a certain look and body shape and sometimes what is called Matsunosuke gin scalation. Most sucessful Japanese breeders today use a mixture of Matsunosuke and Sadazo genetics.

    2. How many of you can look at a particular koi and know whether it is bred in Japan or US?
    It is becoming much harder to tell by quality since some american breeders use Japanese parent koi and cull similar to methods used in Japan.

    To be able to afford a well known artist's original master piece, I would have to refinance my house and withdraw my retirement and kids' college savings account.....................nah, I will just play with his lesser prints, the artwork that he tossed aside.
    Please see my replies above

  10. #10
    Daihonmei
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    Ray pretty much covered it so I'll just add--

    The 'real deal' can only be confirmed at a koi show ( and not usually by the dealer selling you the fish as there is a conflict of interest). And anyone like Ray and myself familar with Japanese breeders and their ways can tell you that one of two things happens when you go to a Japanese breeder for 'his best'. He will first qualify you as a buyer based on price, experience and what you know about koi. he will keep his tategoi 'out of sight' and he will show what he wants to sell. This is the business side of things. The second reality is that there are levels of quality even in famous Japanese breeder facilities- and you will see it in price and availability. they are all made by the same breeder!

    In the end, and this is a tricky point, there are levels of producers and their stock. And within ALL breeders facilities there is a selection of grades. So you are really further along if you can grasp and recognize the grade of a fish rather than the brand or line of the fish. certainly 'known' is a better bet than buying 'unknown'. But in the end, quality 'betrays' and causes buyer remorse than label does. Something to think about. JR

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