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Thread: Musings About Shiromuji

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Musings About Shiromuji

    Perhaps it is hearing so much about snow and ice from folks north of Florida that has me thinking about white. Early in my progression as a koi hobbyist, I learned that Shiromuji are bad koi. It was a lesson taught every time a Kohaku was called 'low grade' because it was 'going Shiromuji', every time it was said breeders cull the white ones, and every time it was said of an ugly koi that 'at least it's not a Shiromuji'. Many years ago, one of the frequent participants on this board was Shiromuji Girl, who took up that ID as a joking reference to how many of her koi were failures. It has become permanently burned into my brain cells that Shiromuji are not worthy of a thimble of pond space. Shiroji, however, is something to study and appreciate. When it is good, we extoll the snow white shiroji of a fine gosanke. We admire the fine lustre of excellent shiroji and heap praise on koi possessing it.

    Why the disconnect? I have never seen a Shiromuji with the fine shiroji of a high grade gosanke. No koi, including gosanke, have anything approaching the purity of the shiroji of the best Shiro Utsuri. Is this because all the Shiromuji get culled early on? Is there a genetic connection with coarseness? In Kohaku spawn there will be numerous Higoi. These nearly always have low quality red pigment that deserves the negative connotation of Akamuji. The deep, brilliant color and lustrous skin of good Kohaku just doesn't get passed through to these one-color siblings. It seems the same sort of thing occurs with the all-white siblings. Mostly they are not actually white, but a pale yellowish hue or one of those vague hues decorators label 'oyster', 'ecru' or some such. And, of course, with absolutely no market for Shiromuji, no breeder is going to invest time, space and money to develop a line of white koi.

    This is regrettable. I watched a video of an Omosako Shiro Utsuri a few weeks ago. She was a developing sansai with very little sumi showing, and that sumi was on one side only. She had a strong gosanke-like body form. When she turned in the pond with only her white side visible, she was the focal point that drew the eye. Brilliant snow white against the dark background of a pond does that. That pure white was so much more hypnotizing than the browns of Chagoi and the dullness of one-color koi generally. We often see young Shiro Utsuri with little or no sumi, and everyone talks about the sumi coming in the future. I'm never too interested in them because I do not know what the sumi might do. But, if I could be certain one of those would never have any sumi, I would become very interested. But, of course, it does not happen that way. The sumi always comes, even if in a poor pattern or a dull matte or the never finishing sort.

    I think there is a basic genetic problem that the great shiroji only comes with red or black accompaniments. If a Shiromuji with pure white and fine skin ever comes along, I hope she gets pointed out to me. I'll make room for her. And, I would give her a new varietal name. Not a Shiromuji, but a Yukigoi.... a Snow Carp, glistening and brilliant, like new snow under a winter sun.

    Dream on.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi
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    if going for something white and nice and white why not do metallic with platinum ogon
    good ones can be very white course never do see a large one at a show(least ones I am at and large I am saying 28+ inches)

  3. #3
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Beauty is in the eye of the person "beholding it". Snow under blinding rays of sun can make a definite connection. While we place most aka mae kigoi's in a special category because of their genetic albinoism, they do occassionally throw a white with red eyes. I've yet to see any with sparkling appearance but rather a soft mat finish. If you could find a yuki asagi that never developed red, that might just be what Mike is talking about.

    As a young man, who flew racing pigeons, the more white they had on them the more they seemed to be singled out by birds of prey as dinner from a single flock. I wonder if that would mean anything to wading birds and friday's fish banquet.

    Back in the day, when salmon was canned, pink meat was never the first choice until one young marketing major came up wih the expression, guaranteed not to turn red in the can. So public opinions can be awayed. Mike, maybe your the new marketing man for this new category. "pure as the driven snow, will not digress by showing other colors in the show tank".

    funny, the older I get the more I relate to things like Mike discribes, ie: a beautiful all red carp, saved and set aside by the kohaku farmers to raise till it's third year and charm a potential buyer.
    Dick Benbow

  4. #4
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I think a Shiro muji with good shiroji like a high grade gosanke would be cool.

    In my early progression as a Koi hobbyist, we use to say; Every Koi collection needs one all white Koi and one all black Koi. For the all white Koi don't waste it on a Shiro muji when you can get a decent Platinum Ogon for a reasonable price.

  5. #5
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    White is not a color but all colors, the light diffuse and spectral, cotton or silk. In Nishikigoi Mondo it says that Hiroshima ginrin was found on a single shiro muji in a shipment from Niigata. Shiro muji are not usually albino so a red eye is rare.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Musings About Shiromuji-red-eyed-shiro-muji.jpg  
    ricshaw likes this.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Most that post here have a Collection of Koi, not a water feature. If a Koi is in the pond, there's a reason. I can't believe many of us would make room for a Shiromuji in our ponds.

    When I'm thinking to buy a Koi, my first thought is "is the Koi worth the space it will take up?" I can't believe my answer would ever be Yes! MikeM, I know you are a 1 in & 1 out guy, what would you remove?

  7. #7
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    Most that post here have a Collection of Koi, not a water feature. If a Koi is in the pond, there's a reason. I can't believe many of us would make room for a Shiromuji in our ponds.
    When I'm thinking to buy a Koi, my first thought is "is the Koi worth the space it will take up?" I can't believe my answer would ever be Yes! MikeM, I know you are a 1 in & 1 out guy, what would you remove?
    I said; In my early progression as a Koi hobbyist. When I was trying to collect one of each variety, which was helpful for learning the Japanese names.
    Now I pretty much focus on gosanke, 1 in & 1 out.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Ric, My post wasn't directed toward you or anyone.

    I'm friends with MikeM and I remember him always saying 1 in & 1 out. That is the only reason I posted his name.

  9. #9
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    Ric, My post wasn't directed toward you or anyone.

    I'm friends with MikeM and I remember him always saying 1 in & 1 out. That is the only reason I posted his name.
    Would you like a no-step Kohaku?

  10. #10
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Perhaps it is hearing so much about snow and ice from folks north of Florida that has me thinking about white. Early in my progression as a koi hobbyist, I learned that Shiromuji are bad koi. It was a lesson taught every time a Kohaku was called 'low grade' because it was 'going Shiromuji', every time it was said breeders cull the white ones, and every time it was said of an ugly koi that 'at least it's not a Shiromuji'. Many years ago, one of the frequent participants on this board was Shiromuji Girl, who took up that ID as a joking reference to how many of her koi were failures. It has become permanently burned into my brain cells that Shiromuji are not worthy of a thimble of pond space. Shiroji, however, is something to study and appreciate. When it is good, we extoll the snow white shiroji of a fine gosanke. We admire the fine lustre of excellent shiroji and heap praise on koi possessing it.

    Why the disconnect? I have never seen a Shiromuji with the fine shiroji of a high grade gosanke. No koi, including gosanke, have anything approaching the purity of the shiroji of the best Shiro Utsuri. Is this because all the Shiromuji get culled early on? Is there a genetic connection with coarseness? In Kohaku spawn there will be numerous Higoi. These nearly always have low quality red pigment that deserves the negative connotation of Akamuji. The deep, brilliant color and lustrous skin of good Kohaku just doesn't get passed through to these one-color siblings. It seems the same sort of thing occurs with the all-white siblings. Mostly they are not actually white, but a pale yellowish hue or one of those vague hues decorators label 'oyster', 'ecru' or some such. And, of course, with absolutely no market for Shiromuji, no breeder is going to invest time, space and money to develop a line of white koi.

    This is regrettable. I watched a video of an Omosako Shiro Utsuri a few weeks ago. She was a developing sansai with very little sumi showing, and that sumi was on one side only. She had a strong gosanke-like body form. When she turned in the pond with only her white side visible, she was the focal point that drew the eye. Brilliant snow white against the dark background of a pond does that. That pure white was so much more hypnotizing than the browns of Chagoi and the dullness of one-color koi generally. We often see young Shiro Utsuri with little or no sumi, and everyone talks about the sumi coming in the future. I'm never too interested in them because I do not know what the sumi might do. But, if I could be certain one of those would never have any sumi, I would become very interested. But, of course, it does not happen that way. The sumi always comes, even if in a poor pattern or a dull matte or the never finishing sort.

    I think there is a basic genetic problem that the great shiroji only comes with red or black accompaniments. If a Shiromuji with pure white and fine skin ever comes along, I hope she gets pointed out to me. I'll make room for her. And, I would give her a new varietal name. Not a Shiromuji, but a Yukigoi.... a Snow Carp, glistening and brilliant, like new snow under a winter sun.

    Dream on.
    Yes. Something about tissue fibers and collagen....

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