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Thread: Evolution of Showa, Kohaku, Sanke Body Conformation - Please teach me

  1. #11
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    I cannot see the photos any more, but 10,13,14 and 15bu are going to be koi less than a year old, with considerable under-development in all areas. The photos I remember seem much more advanced.

  2. #12
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Yes, I think there is confusion about the size claassification.

    In the back of my mind is a thought that the bu system was different a few decades ago. I do not have my old show books at hand to check. Today, the bu system is uniformly used to correlate with length in centimeters, usually in 5 centimeter increments, such that 80bu is for koi ranging from 75cm to 80cm. Size 15bu would be for koi ranging from 10cm to 15 cm, except many shows have 15 bu as the smallest grouping so it includes all koi up to 15cm in size. But, I'm thinking there wasn't uniformity many years ago and the bu number did not necessarily correlate with centimeters. So, you could have something like:

    1 bu - Ichi- Bu or size 1 ( under 7 inches)
    2 bu - Ni-Bu or size 2 ( 7 - 10 inches)
    3 bu - San-Bu or size 3 ( 10-14 inches)
    4 bu - Yon-Bu or size 4 ( 14-18 inches)
    5 bu - Go-Bu or size 5 ( 18-22 inches)
    6 bu - Roku- Bu or size 6 ( 22- 26 inches)
    etc.
    etc.

    Perhaps someone with a better memory will come along.

  3. #13
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    The Japanese language uses words called "counters" to denote what is being counted. They have many many different counters to denote things being counted i.e., people, animals, things that are flat, time, etc. etc. Bu is a counter that refers to size. For example 50 Bu means size 50 cm and refers to koi more than 45 cm and up and including 50 cm.

    Yes, in earlier shows they used 1 bu through about 8 bu to refer to "8" size groups in a koi show. However at some point the sizes were switched in larger shows with a lot of size groups to correspond with cm measurements.
    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.

  4. #14
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Learn something everyday. I actually took those sizes directly from the photos documented. It is a very old book, Cult of Koi or something like that. I tried to find what I thought were older/larger koi. There are lots of photos of very young koi.

  5. #15
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    The Many Shades of Sumi- by Bill McGurk and Scott Purdin

    I came across this article and found it to be very helpful to the discussion on evolution of sanke, with focus on sumi:
    https://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&s...5D54zYfLFrtCFQ

    Talks about Matsunosuke, Sodazo, Jinbei, Torazo and one other line.

  6. #16
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Yes, that was an excellent article. Bill McGurk can be relied on.

    However, before folks go out to their ponds and attempt to classify the sumi on their Sanke as being from one of the five foundation bloodlines, remember that Bill was focusing on the variations in sumi in those bloodlines and in the introductory portion of the article explains that they have been mixed together to create the Sanke we see today. He notes that the sumi of Matsunosuke Sanke is not what it once was. You may be able to see that the sumi on your Sanke is influenced more by Matsunosuke or Sadazo, but these things are not stagnant. Toshio Sakai would say that the marusome sumi of the Sanke produced today at Isawa Nishikigoi Center is altogether different. We still call them Matsunosuke.

    If you look at the meter-plus Sanke produced by Momotaro, you will see bodies that are very much Matsunosuke and sumi that has differing traits from fish to fish. On some, the sumi has the general appearance of Matsunosuke, but patterned in tiger-like stripes of the old Torazo Sanke. Is that just happenstance? Or, does it reflect Torazo genes lurking in the background? Since Torazo Sanke was foundational for the original Matsunosuke, there always have been Torazo genes in the background. Those meter-plus Sanke of Momotaro are becoming old history now. Sanke being produced today at Momotaro are not the same as the ones that took GC at the ZNA All-Japan for Tokugawa. The bodies are changing, the sumi is changing, the beni is changing. This has been a continuing progression for many years. Tokugawa-san's GC Sanke represented the state of things a dozen years before they won.

    Shintaro is well-known for producing Sanke based on Matsunosuke, but compare what is produced today with what is being produced at Yammatsu. There are differences. The same is true of all the major breeders of Sanke, each in their own way.

    Understanding the differences in the old bloodlines can give a deeper appreciation for the living art in your pond. It may even help you predict the future of a koi. Just don't get the idea that you can categorize all Sanke into neat groupings. Jimbei Sanke may have been smaller than what we desire in Sanke today, but that does not mean all of today's Sanke with Jimbei-like sumi will be small. It would be a very long, difficult search to find a Sanke today with no Matsunosuke genetics in the background. Today's Sanke are a mix of a bit of everything... including some Kohaku tossed in from time to time. As Bill says in his article, each breeder is following their own path to reach their ideal Sanke.
    ricshaw likes this.

  7. #17
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    I am going to start looking at sanke based on this quote "...it is the Sumi that lets you know the dominant bloodlines."

    It is a consolation to me when I look at my sole sanke nisai, from SFF, a mixed-grade to boot, which has grown quite large, maintaining a good conformation, and developing a good beni, with specks of lustre that bodes well. But its sumi has been unattractive, being heavy only when it's kasane, mixed in with beni, its tsubo sumi is a netlike pattern, light at the center and dark at the edge of the scale.

    After reading the article, I realize that I may have a matsunosuke-type sanke in my hands, of which time and patience is needed. When I looked at a recent shipment of high-grade sanke from a dealer, I was in doubt of my sanke. But this article set me straight, and restored my faith in my sanke. Next week I should have my koi vat ready, with measuring scales, and I'll have you guys critique it. It will be 2 years next week with my dabbling into koi raising, and it has been a very enjoyable and educational experience thus far. I've made countless tweaks to my pond and to what I feed my koi, and I can't believe that I'm just getting started.

    Having a good grasp of gosanke bloodlines enables me to understand their potential, and gives me a good basis for what to expect from my koi in their development, and if they fail to measure up, I know it is because I still have ways to go in selecting and caring for koi. I will admit to being financially constrained, and there lies the challenge of making ends meet. This forum has been indispensable to that end. Thank you guys and gals!

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