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

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    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Evolution of Showa, Kohaku, Sanke Body Conformation - Please teach me

    Starting this thread based on a discussion about Showa body conformation changes that has happened over the years. I'm hoping that the experienced and historically educated community could share and teach me/us more about how koi bodies/conformation has grown or changed. Any significant improvements? What was the reason for changes (Size/Proportion)? Any difficulties in developing/re-vamping koi to obtain the large sizes that we see today?

    I did get a GREAT read through MikeM thread Conformation and Body Shape, but would like more, more, moreā€¦.hehehe.

    I know that one of the major headliners on this issue is Mr. Sakai with his re-introducing the Magoi blood back into his breeding program. I'd like to see and hear more detailed insight on his or any other breeder (Momotaro, Torazo, Dainichi, etc.) trails and tribulations. I hope I'm not asking too much?

    I'm a graphic person, so I would really appreciate a bunch of pictures and descriptions that can show what is the traditional style bodies/types, what has evolved over the years and where are the breeders now heading. Thanks in advance for sharing. ALOHA!
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    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    mahalo,
    Might have to rely on others to do graphics.But basically kohaku and sanke have what i call spindle shaped bodies. Showa is something different as to what I refer to as barrel chested. With the advent of showa improvement and the breeding of sanke and kohaku back continuously into showa to better their beni and sumi coloration, body shaped for many of the breeders of showa have created the spindle body.
    adding magoi was a different story,partially to get away from the line breeding genetics that had created problems in face and body shape and the opportunity to take the size of koi to the next step. The outcome was longer heads and restrengthened under bellies.
    when we talk about beni, much credit goes to momotaro who blended the beni look together and changed the look of sanke and kohaku. Toshio sakai get credit for new pink beni coloration and the advent of marusome meaning both beni and sumi color fill the scale upon completion or finish.
    Giving both colors a better elegance. interestingly enough with marusome beni, it starts it's completion below the lateral line and works it's way up to the dorsal area in it's progression.
    nuff ramble for now, hopefully others will contribute...
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    Dick Benbow

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Akai-San, it is very difficult to explain these things in words. Photos help. Videos would be better. If you do a search of this forum for threads with 'conformation' in the title, you will find several that are quite thoughtful... and a bit frustrating. Until you have looked at a lot of koi, the words people use make little sense. And, people use the same words differently in their attempts to explain what is best seen. To see body types more clearly, you have to go back to photos published in the 1980s and 1990s before the breeders' efforts began merging the various traits. For example, we do not see many Sanke with the pure, original Matsunosuke body. There are Sanke today heavily influenced by those genes in one or several traits, but not so many with all of the traits. You'll see comments about a body being Matsunosuke-influenced, or the head structure being like a Matsunosuke Sanke. Those influences are obvious when you are familiar with the base type, but it gets confusing if you are not. And, things change. Through the work of SFF and SFF's success in the show ring, the classic Kohaku body type is getting replaced by a type that shares traits with the Chagoi. Some will say there are four types, or 6 types, or 3 types. Whatever the number of types one decides exist, many koi do not readily fit into a single type. There are gradations. If we lined up a thousand koi from 'most Chagoi-like' to 'most Matsunosuke-like', you'd have a hard time deciding where to draw a boundary.

    Pull out old Nichirins with all the show fish pictured and just examine the body form differences among the prize winners in each variety. You will begin to see the differences, and also see that there are no absolutes.

    As a
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    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    it would be hard pressed to study body conformation nowadays since everything so mixed....you have breeders like Sakai Hiroshima cross breeding Ochiba with Kohaku to get a fuller look from tail tube to shoulder. I think the first thing in studying conformation is to understand the origins of bloodlines like Matsunosuke, Sensuke, Dainichi...etc etc...As the new school breeders are standing more uniform when maintaining their bloodline, for example Dainichi Kohaku are showing more and more Sensuke traits when it comes to conformation....
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    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    ..................................

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    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    I took some time and put together a few photos from old periodicals. Not sure about copyrights, but I thought that it is all for learning...These body types were really selected at random just to generate some discussion on what we are looking at. Again interested in some history of the different types and any development(s) since. I have a feeling I'll be doing more of these (for my own learning) and I'd appreciate any lessons on what I present. So lets start with the Kohaku bodies...Can we discuss what types these are?




    Sanke Examples...




    Showa examples...




    Please take me to school. Mahalo!

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Akai-san, this is a very interesting thing you've done. There are so many things that can be discussed using these koi as examples, and so many different perspectives from which a person can comment. This could be a very long discussion with no end.

    I'll start off with some thoughts about the Kohaku, and we'll see if others have time and interest enough to jump in.

    First, I'd say that the three Kohaku all have a basic spindle type body form, but with variations. The first has a comparatively short head and oversized abdominal area, which may be exaggerated by eggs, but this is not uncommon in koi with this sort of head structure. The second has a longer frame and the long squarish head I associate with Sensuke bloodline Kohaku (which is in all Kohaku today to some degree), but the rear third of the fish is weak in proportion. This one appears male?? The third Kohaku shows the preferred smoothly tapering body lines. Notice that #3 has a smooth, rounded shoulder with no abrupt hump or crease. Compare that Sanke #2, which has an obvious one.

    The Matsunosuke body type can be seen in Sanke #1 and Sanke #3. It has been called 'cigar-shaped'... long and slender until reaching full length, without abdominal bulges. Sanke #2 is something of an outlier. She has the chubby cheeks head structure we do not often see anymore. The body form is more like SFF's blimps.

    The Showa are more problematical because Showa #3 is misshapen in the photo, and #2 appears to be a much less mature fish. Still, with #1 you can see the heft of a traditional Showa body. Compare it to the Sanke and Kohaku. I think you can see that that the shoulder area has a strength to it that is missing in the others.

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    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    I am reluctant to make comment on any of the photos without knowing the size, age and sex of each. Body shape is as much a function of these three factors as they are to the overall genetic influences. These three factors are important before making to many conclusions about evolution, as koi go though a body-look within the context of these. For the learning you are looking to gain, a look at koi of a similar age range, sex and size range would be most helpful, more so if the photos are taken many years apart.

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    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    Wikipedia references Ray: http://www.mpks.org/articles/RayJordan/KoiHistory5.shtml
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Evolution of Showa, Kohaku, Sanke Body Conformation - Please teach me-showa-ray.jpg  

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    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbradleybradley View Post
    I am reluctant to make comment on any of the photos without knowing the size, age and sex of each. Body shape is as much a function of these three factors as they are to the overall genetic influences. These three factors are important before making to many conclusions about evolution, as koi go though a body-look within the context of these. For the learning you are looking to gain, a look at koi of a similar age range, sex and size range would be most helpful, more so if the photos are taken many years apart.
    Okay. I believe they are female.

    The Kohaku examples are 14, 13 and 15 BU respectively
    The Sanke examples are 14 BU
    The Showa examples are 14, 10 and 13 BU


    Here is the GC Showa of the very first AJS I attended in 2005. It was the first time I noticed a kois body confirmation. Compared to some of the more bulky and massive koi, its proportions appealed to me, especially for its size. I looked like it could grow even more.



    My second AJS in 2006 was this massive Kohaku. Shocked that it beat out some other notable candidates, but her size was something amazing to me.


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