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Thread: Musings About The 2012 ZNA All-Japan Show

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Musings About The 2012 ZNA All-Japan Show

    I have at last had the time to look through the latest Nichirin covering the ZNA All-Japan show held at the end of 2012. A few things stand out.

    First, Sakai Fish Farm dominated the show. No major winners were bred by Dainichi. Momotaro-bred koi managed to pick up the Jumbo award with Nobuo Tokigawa's now familiar meter Sanke and the Zipangu prize (and Meriken prize) with an Ochiba Shigure in the 80bu size. Those are nice awards, but hardly up to level seen in prior shows.

    Second, the number of winners from outside Japan was considerable. The Grand Champion was owned by Felix Denata of Indonesia, of course. It is the best in size winners that stand out... hobbyists from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong dominated in the sizes 70bu and larger. And, they mostly won with SFF-bred koi.

    Third, there were not very many winners with impressive patterns.... no particularly memorable koi among the major winners.

    I will be studying the photos over the weeks ahead. Perhaps other curious trends will become noticeable. In the meantime, I cannot help but feel sorry for the breeders in Niigata. There are few who can count even a minor award among the winning koi. Folks may still trek the mountains each year, but the real center of koi is now in the South and we just can't pretend otherwise anymore, no matter how much the nostagic myths may cause us to want it otherwise.
    Last edited by MikeM; 03-14-2013 at 07:01 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Interesting observation. I appreciate your musing.

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    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I have at last had the time to look through the latest Nichirin covering the ZNA All-Japan show held at the end of 2012. A few things stand out.

    First, Sakai Fish Farm dominated the show. No major winners were bred by Dainichi. Momotaro-bred koi managed to pick up the Jumbo award with Nobuo Tokigawa's now familiar meter Sanke and the Zipangu prize (and Meriken prize) with an Ochiba Shigure in the 80bu size. Those are nice awards, but hardly up to level seen in prior shows.

    Second, the number of winners from outside Japan was considerable. The Grand Champion was owned by Felix Denata of Indonesia, of course. It is the best in size winners that stand out... hobbyists from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong dominated in the sizes 70bu and larger. And, they mostly won with SFF-bred koi.

    Third, there were not very many winners with impressive patterns.... no particularly memorable koi among the major winners.

    I will be studying the photos over the weeks ahead. Perhaps other curious trends will become noticeable. In the meantime, I cannot help but feel sorry for the breeders in Niigata. There are few who can count even a minor award among the winning koi. Folks may still trek the mountains each year, but the real center of koi is now in the South and we just can't pretend otherwise anymore, no matter how much the nostagic myths may cause us to want it otherwise.


    Mike,
    Have a look also at the All Japan Combined last month. And the winner was from Indonesia too!

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiky View Post
    Mike,
    Have a look also at the All Japan Combined last month. And the winner was from Indonesia too!
    Yes, and I'll be studying those winners when I receive a magazine giving full coverage. The role of hobbyists across southeast Asia has become crucial to the hobby as a whole. The economic support is obvious. The production of current quality levels could not be easily sustained without the non-Japanese hobbyists of Asia spending as they do for the very best koi. Just as important, however, is the enthusiasm. Despite the challenges of climate, the major shows across Asia are huge and well-attended, with very good koi superior to what is entered in all but the top shows in Japan. I have been told by knowledgeable persons who have attended most of the shows that the Asia Cup show should be considered the third most prestigious show, behind only the ZNA and Shinkokai All-Japan shows.

  5. #5
    Tategoi Erns's Avatar
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    Mike - I agree with you. I've been following the progession for the last 3 years and the 'trend' you have highlighted is there. I think in 2011 SFF was even more dominant than they were in 2012 in the big awards. I also noted that good showa are far and few in between. Even on the 2012 results there were not many showa that I would have 'sold a kidney' for. Seems to remain the go-sanke variety that is tough. Momotaro have had some success but what has become of the other guys? The refinement achieved in kohaku and sanke is clearly evident. Did you have a look at the shiro results?
    Last edited by Erns; 03-15-2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: typo

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Erns, I was not impressed by the Shiro Utsuri at first. The patterning was not eye-catching. Even the Rin'oh award winner needed some sumi on the head to have a balanced pattern. However, the progress in developing Shiros with good bodies was evident and the white grounds are so clear that I imagine in person the skin quality was quite good. So, overall, the Shiros seemed to be examples of a variety in transition... progressing and giving a sense there could be great things in store for the future.

    I recently spoke with a dealer who visited Omosako early this year. He was impressed by the Sanke-type bodies Omosako is now producing. The front-loaded body form taken from Showa is being replaced with a longer more streamlined body. The thought is that in the years ahead we will see more large Shiros with strong bodies. Patterning is taking a back seat in the process. With judging standards more focused on body and pigment clarity, it is understandable. Personally, pattern is important to my enjoyment of Shiros to a greater degree than pattern in the gosanke. The stark contrast of lacquer black and snow white shiroji is made so much more impressive when the pattern is expressive.

    If I was not emotionally attached to the koi I have, I would just might replace the Kohaku with Shiros, if I could get only ones with strong bodies and good patterns.

  7. #7
    Tategoi Erns's Avatar
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    Mike - I got my mags mixed up. You were right - SFF were more dominantin 2012 than 2011 - basically a clean sweep.

    I agree with you on the shiros. The only reason I don't have one anymore is because they don't do well on the colour food my go-sanke requires. One day I will have two ponds..lol!

    Your thoughts on the showas?

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The Showa were definitely far behind the Kohaku and Sanke. They did well in the smaller sizes, but not in the larger ones. The 70bu champion does not look that large in her photo and you can see Hi showing through much of the sumi. But, her white glistens and is her strongest attribute in my opinion.

    An interesting fish is the 3rd place in 75bu, a Showa with so much Sanke influence that the photo requires a second look to check the editor did not get the variety wrong. She even has tejima rather than motoguro. And, the absence of sumi on the head leaves her more Sanke than Showa to my eye. I think she is an example of a mixed breed that exhibits high quality, but is too off the mark for Showa to be benched in Showa. Perhaps in person the sumi on her right side exhibits wrapping that does not show well in the photo. But, who am I to disagree with the benchers at that level of show?

    The Best Showa is another mixed breed-type, but definitely Showa. A big-bodied fish at 92cm with a huge girth. In person I'm sure she was impressive due to her massiveness. But, the sparse sumi detracts and having only a couple of spots of sumi on the head leaves her an unfinished painting. Despite her size, I do not get the sense of powerfulness I expect from Showa.

    Having had some great Showa on the world stage over the past 6 years, it is disappointing that there was no stand-out at the show, at least as far as the photos permit a conclusion to be drawn. Perhaps having a young up-and-coming Showa on the cover has a meaning beyond the monthly promotion.... Showa's day lies ahead.

    (I wonder how much it costs to get a 'my proud koi' cover???)

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