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Thread: 'Pink' Beni

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    'Pink' Beni

    In another thread, Yerrag raised a question about the so-called 'pink beni' that deserves a thread of its own:

    **** I don't know what a pink beni looks like and how coming from a kuroko makes it appear the way it does. Among the handful of frys (turning 3 months) I have, there is one kohaku that has a transparent skin, and a pink red appearance from the red being under the skin. Is this where the description of 'pink' comes from? Or is the pink color a color you can actually see in a mature showa-based benigoi? When the word 'pink' is used, I keep thinking of Hallmark pink. Is there no other descriptor other than pink?

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I am not certain where the term 'pink beni' originated. I initially heard it used only with koi produced by Toshio Sakai. More recently I've heard the term used in regard to koi in other breeders' lines. Whether these are koi with Toshio Sakai's genetics in the mix, I do not know. The one thing I am certain about is that 'pink beni' is not pink.

    I have read several attempts at describing or explaining 'pink beni'.... by some hobbyists and by dealers carrying Isawa Nishikigoi Center koi. It is difficult to describe a color hue, and these attempts end up sounding more like marketing PR than anything else. You can get the idea that 'pink beni' is like the fable of the emperor's new clothes... it doesn't exist, but nobody will admit they cannot see it. However, it does exist. It just isn't wholly different from red beni hues seen in koi all the time. It is different than the beni hues seen in koi from INC. And, it is different in the sense that there are numerous beni hues to be found among koi.

    I have seen 'pink beni', both on koi produced by INC and koi produced by Mat McCann at Nisei Koi Farm/Quality Koi. It is a more red red-orange hue than was previously seen in koi from the older INC/Matsunosuke/Yammatsu lines of gosanke. When the koi with 'pink beni' are very young, I cannot see the difference. Mat spends so many hours of so many days culling that he sees it immediately. As the koi grow, I can see that it is different from the beni of the koi that have the beni of the older lines. It is particularly distinctive from the persimmon orange beni of the Matsunosuke Sanke. However, it is not the true fire engine red that was seen in some older lines of Kohaku in years long gone. There is still an orangish tint to the red of a mature koi with 'pink beni'.

    I think 'pink beni' is best understood as an INC accomplishment in the quest to improve the beni of the older Matsunosuke lines of gosanke, an improved beni that is more aesthetically pleasing because it nearly red.

    Was it called 'pink' because it is somewhat more rosy than orangish in the fry and that allows distinguishing them when culling? I think only Toshio Sakai can answer why he called it 'pink beni'.

    ...Somebody have a different take on it??

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    A YouTube link to 'pink beni':


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-hAtEGtWLs

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    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    I beg to differ that INC sanke has a claim on pink beni. What is claimed by Toshio is that their pink beni sanke line is different and popular in a way that it is a transluscent shinny bluish red tone. The red orange one maybe just as Toshi would describe as 70 to 90% pink only.

    Pink beni kohaku , showa , and even sanke based on my experience can be seen in other breeders. Some of Ooyas high quality sanke have pink beni although not the transluscent but more opaque type. Some of Dainichis kohaku have somewhat shinny transluscent pink beni while a lot of showa of dainichi have pink opaque beni.

    I should point out that pink beni should not be confused with hard red beni although it takes some experience to see the distint difference. I have no idea how to explain in words except that when I see the koi basically I have somewhat an idea if ita hard red beni.

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    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Best bet would be to ask Russell Peters on that other forum. He is the person that seems to mention "pink beni" the most frequently.

    If I think of it... I might mention your "pink beni" thread to Russell, at the Mystic Koi Grow out this month, if he shows up.

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    I beg to differ that INC sanke has a claim on pink beni. What is claimed by Toshio is that their pink beni sanke line is different and popular in a way that it is a transluscent shinny bluish red tone. The red orange one maybe just as Toshi would describe as 70 to 90% pink only.

    Pink beni kohaku , showa , and even sanke based on my experience can be seen in other breeders. Some of Ooyas high quality sanke have pink beni although not the transluscent but more opaque type. Some of Dainichis kohaku have somewhat shinny transluscent pink beni while a lot of showa of dainichi have pink opaque beni.

    I should point out that pink beni should not be confused with hard red beni although it takes some experience to see the distint difference. I have no idea how to explain in words except that when I see the koi basically I have somewhat an idea if ita hard red beni.
    As I said, I do not know where use of the term 'pink beni' originated. I hear the term used mostly with gosanke produced by INC. Perhaps because the shiny translucent type is getting established there?? ...I understand that it is still a minority of INC gosanke that possess it.

    There is a story about the origin of 'pink beni' that I came across some time ago, but do not know if it is true. The story is that 'pink beni' traces back to Maruyama Koi Farm and their kagura beni. One of the Maruyama oyagoi known for her brilliant, translucent red beni was a Kohaku named Kame No Kou. As the beauty of kagura beni drew attention, other breeders acquired offspring from Kame No Kou in order to introduce that brilliance into their lines. But, they found that lines based on sensuke genetics to get jumbo size did not match well with Maruyama's kagura beni line. So, there was a lot of effort without much success until Sakai Fish Farm began producing what became its line of Kohaku, which is said to come closer to the kagura beni than anyone else accomplished. Independently, Nogami used Kami No Kou bloodline oyagoi with Dainichi Kohaku and was able to produce improved beni on jumbo-frame koi, which went to Dainichi for oyagoi. At that point, beni derived from Maruyama's kagura beni (but not necessarily the same as kagura beni) spread as breeders used SFF, Nogami and Dainichi lines in the never ending pursuit of improvement. But, since they each have different mixes of genetics, differences exist.

    I do not doubt the basics of this story in so far as it tells us about the improvement of beni generally. Whether kagura beni is really the root of what is now called 'pink beni', I do not know. And, whether kagura beni is in the background of the 'pink beni' INC now produces, I do not know. I am only sure that the best beni would be truly red and would be like looking at a red glass crystal. The so-called 'pink beni' is taking koi closer to that goal.... step by step.

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    Best bet would be to ask Russell Peters on that other forum. He is the person that seems to mention "pink beni" the most frequently.

    If I think of it... I might mention your "pink beni" thread to Russell, at the Mystic Koi Grow out this month, if he shows up.
    Russ doesn't post here for reasons that go back many years. If you get his attention, see what his take is.

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    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    A YouTube link to 'pink beni':


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-hAtEGtWLs
    After taking a look at the video, a color term I would use is 'carmine.' This is a highly saturated red color, and which costs a lot more as a pigment made for making inks. Not all pigment makers make it. Japanese ink makers such as Dainichiseika and the German ink maker BASF makes it, but American ink makers don't. Now this is from my knowledge of ink from 25 years back. It may have changed.

    Does the video bring justice to the koi with pink beni? If it doesn't, then the 'pink' beni is even more highly saturated to the point that it is outside the color gamut of our computer screen's capability to portray. Something that only our eyes can see but the camera and/or screen cannot pass on.

    Incidentally, there is another color called rubine, which is red also but with a bluish influence. It is highly saturated as well, but this may be what we refer to as 'persimmon.'

  9. #9
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    After taking a look at the video, a color term I would use is 'carmine.' This is a highly saturated red color, and which costs a lot more as a pigment made for making inks. Not all pigment makers make it. Japanese ink makers such as Dainichiseika and the German ink maker BASF makes it, but American ink makers don't. Now this is from my knowledge of ink from 25 years back. It may have changed.

    Does the video bring justice to the koi with pink beni? If it doesn't, then the 'pink' beni is even more highly saturated to the point that it is outside the color gamut of our computer screen's capability to portray. Something that only our eyes can see but the camera and/or screen cannot pass on.

    Incidentally, there is another color called rubine, which is red also but with a bluish influence. It is highly saturated as well, but this may be what we refer to as 'persimmon.'
    I am familiar with different pigments and nowadays most pigments are manufactured in China and India thereby the quality and color standards of what used to be manufactured from a single source years ago is not its used to be.

    China based Carmine Red pigment or more popularly the so called Fast rose red or Naphtol red dark (P.R. 23) is a dull true red color that I think would best describe some tosai with remarkable red sold cheaply because breeders like INC do not believe in its long term prospect.

    So perhaps for me to describe when I look at a true 100% pink beni INC koi, is when I look at real polished ruby that is shinny, transluscent and pinkish to bluish red tone.

    Persimmon Red is redding orange while another favorite color in Gosanke is the ferrarri red.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    I am familiar with different pigments and nowadays most pigments are manufactured in China and India thereby the quality and color standards of what used to be manufactured from a single source years ago is not its used to be.

    China based Carmine Red pigment or more popularly the so called Fast rose red or Naphtol red dark (P.R. 23) is a dull true red color that I think would best describe some tosai with remarkable red sold cheaply because breeders like INC do not believe in its long term prospect.

    So perhaps for me to describe when I look at a true 100% pink beni INC koi, is when I look at real polished ruby that is shinny, transluscent and pinkish to bluish red tone.

    Persimmon Red is redding orange while another favorite color in Gosanke is the ferrarri red.
    Excuse me a little while I take a trip to the flea market to find myself a remarkable piece of ruby. Failing in that, I may try a pawnshop with one left unclaimed by a hardscrabble aristocratic matron. If I succeed, I would still have to mechanically dull the ruby so that the crystal sheen does not detract from using it to compare its color to that of a pink beni koi. No matter, we will one day be able to demystify the 'pink beni,' thanks to everyone finding a piece of readily accessible gemstone.

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