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Thread: Sakura

  1. #11
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Sorry for the rant, but this is how I feel...
    I occassionally think that American Koi Shows just don't get what they are doing. This constant 'shove it down your throat' mentallity of assigning Japanese terminology and culture to American Shows is actually divisive. The change in the Central Show is just another example. I mean why? Why use Japanese language at an American show? Even Rob himself admits to not knowing the terms and had to look it up on net. Is this really good for the American Koi show? No, it's not. In fact it does nothing but confuse and add mystique to an already daunting hobby. And we expect viewers to get this? And we expect to draw in more folks to our hobby? And we expect Americans to be treated as equals, yet we refuse to accept our own verbage and culture? Why have CM and BU? It does nothing. In no way, shape or form does having BU instead of IN have anything to do with the hobby or shows. So why even use it? I understand that there is koi terminology that has no English equivilent- sashi, kiwa, boke, muji, and all those are Japanese terms and they actually mean something that is difficult to translate into English. I get that. But BU? That is a measurement, plain and simple. So why not use inches? We do have measurements here in the States ya know. Let me know the next time you hear anybody use BU other than for koi. Not gonna happen- ever! So now we are forced to use a language that we all do not understand. It is exclusive and not inclusive.
    I feel that folks do this to try to be 'everything Japanese'. There is no other reason to do this. There is no valid reason to use Japanese terminology for a term that can be prefectly understood in English. All it does is further enlarge the gap of American Koi Shows setting themselves as distinctly American. Oh, and it allows the user to feel like they are superior in their intellect and knowledge... and how proudly they can pronounce and use such unique terminology. So now a show in Florida is using terms that very few understand. And this is good for the American Koi Hobby?
    When I started I felt like Tim. I even said "red & white" instead of Kohaku. But that is not what the majority of American Koi Kichi wants. Through membership in ZNA, I, like the Koi Kichi majority, embrace the Japanese Koi culture.

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  2. #12
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    When I started I felt like Tim. I even said "red & white" instead of Kohaku. But that is not what the majority of American Koi Kichi wants. Through membership in ZNA, I, like the Koi Kichi majority, embrace the Japanese Koi culture.

    Straight from Japan... For the Serious Hobbyist!
    Perhaps you didn't read what Mike said. I believe Mike is on the board and is very involved with the club making decisions. Mike clearly states why the club made this decision and it did not include what you think the majority wants. The key words being "crowd" and "public". Not a mention of "Koi Kichi majority".

    MikeM- "The idea behind this innovation is to encourage entry of non-gosanke and thereby entertain the crowd. Kichi love the gosanke (and Shiro Utsuri). The public wants to see all of the more unusual varieties as well."

    And I think Mike is right on this. At some point we need to do what is best for the hobby and not "koi kichi majority". This old way of thinking has got to go. This is a new era. Let's not continue to do what was done in the past cause it just ain't working like it used to. Maybe at some point it worked, but things change, and we are in a different environment. Also, Please do not confuse embracing the Japanese culture with doing what is best for the health of the hobby and American Koi Shows. There is no doubt the contributions of Japanese influence, but there also must be an understanding that we are different and live in a different culture. Why can't we enjoy both worlds? Why is there such anomosity towards being ourselves?

  3. #13
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    My reply was to why does everything have to be Japanese?



    I have no problem with encouraging entries of non-gosanke Koi to entertain the public.

    If a ZNA style Koi show wants to encourage more unusual varieties, they can encourage friendship awards for unusual varieties.

    If other Koi shows want to have Sakura Champion, Tsubaki Champion, Botan Champion or Grand Champion A, B, C, D awards that is their choice.
    Last edited by ricshaw; 11-13-2013 at 07:21 PM. Reason: added text

  4. #14
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Good stuff, Tim. There is a real tendency for kichi (definitely including myself) to adopt Japanese terminology and approaches without thinking about the unintended consequence of becoming exclusionist. When this change in awards came up, it did not occur to me that adoption of Sakura, Tsubaki and Botan would be a barrier to inclusiveness. My immediate thought was that it was good thing to provide more recognition to the non-gosanke. My only negative thought was that the poor Shiro Utsuri was likely out of the running for any major awards unless somebody has a truly marvelous one to enter. I did not even express that thought because on balance it was a good direction to go and reflected very extensive discussion within Shinkokai leading to its decision to adopt this approach.

    Personally, I do not like the sound of Tsubaki. I have a bit of a collection of camellias, and no cherry trees or peonies will grow here. So, I'd rather achieve a 'Camellia Award' than a 'Tsubaki Award'. I still support the decision. Perhaps it will give us a little opportunity to share some Japanese culture by explaining at the awards banquet what the Japanese terms mean. It is telling that in Japanese culture some awards for fish would be named after flowers. To the American mind there is no logic in it. And, there isn't. An American award would be more naturally something like 'Best In Group'... very logical, very self-explanatory. The Eastern mind senses greater importance and meaning in an award named after a wonder of Nature, particularly flowers with deep cultural meaning like cherry blossoms, peonies and camellias. ...And, nobody would dare, even in the 21st century, to have a chrysanthemum award. Some things have deep roots. Sort of like the Bald Eagles vs Wild Turkeys as an emblem of our nation.

  5. #15
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    I had written a very long response about BU but instead I'll go with: You do it your way and we'll do it ours because that....is the American way.
    ricshaw likes this.
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  6. #16
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorth View Post
    I had written a very long response about BU but instead I'll go with: You do it your way and we'll do it ours because that....is the American way.
    Understand that this is part of the reason that there is no consistancy within the Show community. It's basically a free for all with no organization. The "Do as you please, I don't give a shit." attitude will only take the hobby so far. And that distance has peaked long ago my friend.

    I'm not seeing many youngsters around the shows. Fact is, many of the old guard are dying off and no one is filling the gaps. The old guard rules and are refusing to change. Many are refusing to recognize that there may actually be a better approach. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks. And the face of the hobby is aging. I'm not sure anyone can disagree with that. I hear of old timers talking about how shows were back in the days. Doing the math, I find that these old timers were in their 30's and 40's back then. Where the hell are all the 30 and 40 year olds at the shows these days? You're right, there aren't many. The shows are dominated with retirees and folks that can't even pack thier own koi, much less lift the cooler. We are now at a critical low, imo. We need fresh blood to carry on the shows. We need structure and organization, not 'you do it your way and we'll do it our way'. I mean really, can we not have 3 different measurements for length? Is it just that damn important to use BU instead of inches? Just why is BU even a consideration? "Hey guys, let's pretend we're Japanese and use BU instead of inches!" Silly if you ask me. Maybe one day we will accept that we are all one- there is no 'your way' and 'my way'. We are all in this together.

    Jim, have you noticed a decrease of participation on Bito over the last five years? Bet you have! Why do you think show participation is low, forum activity is low, and new entries into the hobby is low? Yeah yeah, blame it on the economy... I hear that all the time from folks not wanting to look in the mirror. So they use the old 'it's the economy' excuse rather than looking at the root causes. I propose that perhaps it is because the old guard is stubborn and will not look at new approaches? I know... it's hard to hear from a young whipper snapper like me. But what you forget is that I am the face of the hobby in coming years. (Scary thought ain't it!) Change is eminent. One can embrace change, or one can fight change. I see a lot of fighting change with very little embracing.

    Sorry to get so uptight, but I always feel that there has got to be a better way. Believing that 'things will get better' without making changes will yield the same result. And that result is declining numbers across the board thoughout the country. No one can refute the decline in participation. I'm not saying that I have all the answers. What I'm saying is that maybe we ought to look at the approach. The approach that is being touted is not working. The numbers alone prove that. Much less the aging population factor. Combine the approach and the aging population and we have what we have today- a total lack of organization and direction with an aged group of leaders refusing to look at fresh ideas. There is no direction to this hobby. Not a group or entity can lay claim to success. AKCA had it once, and held it for a long time. But personal agendas and politics led to the downfall. ZNA is pushing hard, but still can't get everyone on board (I have some thoughts on why if you want to know.) So what is left is a group of folks like me that want to have a voice and shared community but can't get the support because of so many loose ends. It's a bit of an unraveling of the fabric, if you will... Once the thread is pulled hard enough, it will begin to unravel. And in my opinion, every time a show converts to BU or using unfamiliar Japanese verbage, it pulls that thread a little more.

  7. #17
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Organized koi is a club centric hobby. Koi shows are put on by koi clubs. Club members plus some external volunteers if they are lucky enough to have any do all the work to put on a show. I do not know any koi clubs that do not seek and welcome new members and seek out show volunteers. There are currently about 35 koi shows annually in America. This is very likely near if not the peak number of shows held annually since the very first koi shows began about 40 years ago. Depending on the club/show some are similar in terms of awards and activities compared to long ago. Some are quite different with innovations like award move ups, special non-gosanke, and other speciality type awards. There are likely far more innovations than some new hobbyists might realize. In the past, it was expected that the koi tank area would be blocked off during judging and there certainly was nothing like a Judges walk around session with questions from entrants about judging decisions. In the beginning all koi/show terminology was Japanese. Depending on the level of the conversation today the vast majority of koi/show terminology is english. There are exceptions when judges are talking to each other and use Japanese terms but anything intended to be presented to the general public should be based on english terminology.

    I encourage anyone wanting to support and assist a koi show move forward to join that club and participate in the planning and activities necessary to set up, run, and clean up after a show. If there is a koi club in your area that doesn't have a annual show get involved and volunteer to help plan their first show. If there is not a koi club in your area consider starting one. Many of the top tier koi clubs and shows today are much closer to 10 years old than 40 years old. Also some newer hobbyists might be surprised to learn that many of their "new" ideas were tried and discarded long ago for good reason.
    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.

  8. #18
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Somebody has their facts wrong.
    ZNA has always been the leader and was a guide for AKCA.
    AKCA is still alive and has survived tough economic times.
    KOI USA magazine is alive and hanging on even though there is a diminishing demand for printed media.
    The change in participation on Koi chat boards is partly due to social media like Facebook. We have moved from computers to smart phones.
    Ray has it right.
    The main change I have seen in West Coast U.S. Koi Shows is the competition is tougher and it is harder to compete with cheap tosai.




    Oh! I forgot to mention that there has always been old timers in the Koi hobby. They taught the 30 and 40 year olds.

  9. #19
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Understand that this is part of the reason that there is no consistancy within the Show community. It's basically a free for all with no organization. The "Do as you please, I don't give a shit." attitude will only take the hobby so far. And that distance has peaked long ago my friend..
    We switched our show to fall in line with the REST OF THE WORLD and we're the ones with the "Do as you please, I don't give a shit attitude"??

    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post

    I'm not seeing many youngsters around the shows. Fact is, many of the old guard are dying off and no one is filling the gaps. The old guard rules and are refusing to change. Many are refusing to recognize that there may actually be a better approach. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks. And the face of the hobby is aging. I'm not sure anyone can disagree with that. I hear of old timers talking about how shows were back in the days. Doing the math, I find that these old timers were in their 30's and 40's back then. Where the hell are all the 30 and 40 year olds at the shows these days? You're right, there aren't many. The shows are dominated with retirees and folks that can't even pack thier own koi, much less lift the cooler. We are now at a critical low, imo. We need fresh blood to carry on the shows. We need structure and organization, not 'you do it your way and we'll do it our way'. I mean really, can we not have 3 different measurements for length? Is it just that damn important to use BU instead of inches? Just why is BU even a consideration? "Hey guys, let's pretend we're Japanese and use BU instead of inches!" Silly if you ask me. Maybe one day we will accept that we are all one- there is no 'your way' and 'my way'. We are all in this together..
    What are you talking about? Old guard not changing? Its the old guard that came up with size 1 size 2 blah blah blah...I'm actually advocating change to BU so that we standardize with the rest of the world because we are all in the hobby together...the hobby is worldwide not just here in the USA. Here is the difference though...if your club doesn't want to use BU that's cool with me I'm not going to rant about it on a koi board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Jim, have you noticed a decrease of participation on Bito over the last five years? Bet you have! Why do you think show participation is low, forum activity is low, and new entries into the hobby is low? Yeah yeah, blame it on the economy... I hear that all the time from folks not wanting to look in the mirror. So they use the old 'it's the economy' excuse rather than looking at the root causes. I propose that perhaps it is because the old guard is stubborn and will not look at new approaches? I know... it's hard to hear from a young whipper snapper like me. But what you forget is that I am the face of the hobby in coming years. (Scary thought ain't it!) Change is eminent. One can embrace change, or one can fight change. I see a lot of fighting change with very little embracing..
    Deja vu?? I feel like we have had this conversation. Heres how it ended...I'm 42 and you are like 40 or something so the whole "I'm the face of the hobby" thing means nothing to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Sorry to get so uptight, but I always feel that there has got to be a better way. Believing that 'things will get better' without making changes will yield the same result. And that result is declining numbers across the board thoughout the country. No one can refute the decline in participation.
    I can and will refute that. ZNA Potomac has seen a steady increase in numbers over the last 7 years that I have been a part of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    I'm not saying that I have all the answers. What I'm saying is that maybe we ought to look at the approach. The approach that is being touted is not working. The numbers alone prove that. Much less the aging population factor. Combine the approach and the aging population and we have what we have today- a total lack of organization and direction with an aged group of leaders refusing to look at fresh ideas. There is no direction to this hobby. Not a group or entity can lay claim to success. AKCA had it once, and held it for a long time. But personal agendas and politics led to the downfall. ZNA is pushing hard, but still can't get everyone on board (I have some thoughts on why if you want to know.) So what is left is a group of folks like me that want to have a voice and shared community but can't get the support because of so many loose ends. It's a bit of an unraveling of the fabric, if you will... Once the thread is pulled hard enough, it will begin to unravel. And in my opinion, every time a show converts to BU or using unfamiliar Japanese verbage, it pulls that thread a little more.
    ZNA Potomac led the way in changing over to a full slate of B awards so that people who weren't into gosanke could actually win some awards...we got crucified by the "old guard" for that but we did it anyway but yeah I guess we aren't into fresh ideas.
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  10. #20
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    The world is ever changing. Where once "60 Minutes" generated so many viewers, these days the network would be happy to get a sliver of its audience at its peak. Not because the program has lost its touch, the audience went elsewhere. There are so many choices these days. Families don't sit together watching TV shows anymore. The internet, gaming, extreme sports, Facebook, Twitter, smart phones, YouTube, you name it- they pull the potential koi hobbyist, or any potential hobbyist, collector, craftsman, or sports enthusiast - in a different direction. So don't expect so much growth in the koi hobby, or golf, or tennis, or hockey. Just be happy having a good core that can keep itself relevant and interesting, and it will be able to attract new members.

    The fact that Koi-Bito welcomes many new members is testament to that. And that its members share their expertise and knowhow wholeheartedly gives the hobby a great boost.

    I spend more time on Koi-Bito and very little time in Facebook. Maybe it's because I value the substance here. Not many pictures of each of us and pics of food, but for me it's a plus. We peel away the layers and our thoughts come out quickly.

    If not for the language barrier, as English is our medium here, Koi-Bito would have more active members. I was told that for every post made here, there are about a 100 nonmembers reading. Call me credulous, but I believe it.

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