Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33
Like Tree2Likes

Thread: Internationalization Of Koi Breeding

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128

    Internationalization Of Koi Breeding

    An interesting development triggers some musings on koi breeding around the world, but first, some context.... For about 15 years there has been debate over 'domestic koi' vs 'Japanese koi' and whether domestic breeders, wherever they may be located outside of Japan, might ever produce the quality attained by Japanese breeders. The subject is not discussed so much in past few years. It has become repetitive and repetition produces boredom. The general consensus has become that a few breeders outside Japan are producing good koi competitive with the mid-level production of the Japanese breeders, but only on extremely rare occasion do they produce a koi competitive in the 'lower upper quality range' and never (yet) in the 'upper upper quality range'. For the vast majority of koi purchasers, that is good enough to fit the budget and match personal goals. Still, the volume of the very best domestics has been too low to fill the demand, so Japan-bred koi necessarily dominate in the higher price ranges.

    For decades, the U.S. koi market, like markets in many other countries, has seen huge volumes of koi imported from countries other than Japan. These have been mass production koi well-suited to the lower price ranges of the garden pondkeeper. The sources have varied from time to time according to currency exchange rates, KHV impacts, etc. At one time, Israeli koi were seen in quantity. At another point, Malaysian tosai seemed to be everywhere. Taiwan-bred koi were a big deal for a couple of years pre-Great Recession. In these low price ranges, whoever could be cheapest won the day. The notion of importing for quality from anywhere other than Japan, however, was a silly joke.

    My view was that this state of affairs was how it would always be. Domestic breeders could continually improve, but Japanese breeders had such a lead in both skill, work force and gene pool that they would always be at the forefront absent Japan sinking into the sea.

    Then Purdin Koi Farm began exporting to the UK. Huh?? My thinking began to change. It was not a matter of Bill McGurk creating koi equal to the best being exported to the UK from Japan, but rather the fact that a breeder in the U.S. was producing a solid quality worthy of being exported across the Atlantic. That fact established in my mind that I should not have preconceptions about what the future could be. Koi were being exported to the UK based on quality, not cheap pricing for large quantities.

    All of this is brought to mind by Polish koi. Poland!?!?? Yep, Poland. About 6 weeks ago there were a few Facebook postings by Shawn Rosen of Yoshikigoi USA, a new venture in importing Polish-bred koi to the U.S. Those who saw the photos raved about the koi, as one would expect on FB. They were very attractive non-gosanke. But, just about anyone can produce a couple of eye-catching non-gosanke eventually. I thought it interesting, but hardly a development triggering great excitement. Recently, however, I am beginning to wonder. Those who follow Mat McCann and Quality Koi know what I mean. Mat visited the breeder in Poland and posted several photos and videos of some truly first class non-gosanke, particularly doitsu, metallics and doitsu metallics. The body lines of some of the metallics were superior to anything I've seen U.S. dealers offering from their Japanese sources. As many know, I have the deepest respect for Mat's eye. When he posted that he was purchasing some of these Polish-bred non-gosanke for breeding stock, I knew something special was happening. Mat is as Japanophile as one can get and be a domestic breeder. He is deservedly proud of producing high quality American-bred koi from high quality Japanese bloodlines and creating his own bloodlines. (I love his gosanke & my bias shows.) American-bred from Polish bloodlines? Well.... My thinking must change to align with facts.

    This Spring, Yoshikigoi USA will begin offering imports from Poland for sale in the U.S. And, in short order, we will have this Polish gene pool introduced into domestic U.S. koi breeding. (Shawn will be at the Central Florida Koi Show, March 11-13, 2016, with a Yoshikigoi USA information booth, but unfortunately will not have koi available since they will not yet have arrived from Poland.) To my knowledge, this will mark the first time koi will be imported to the U.S. from a country other than Japan because of the quality of the koi, not their low price or quantity. If it has occurred before, it was a passing blip of no moment. This looks to be real.

    I am looking forward to CFKS to talk with Mat about his observations, to learn about Shawn's plans and to get Mark Gardner's perspective on the whole subject. (Mark will be at the Purdin Koi booth with Bill McGurk during much of the show.) With Mark's knowledge of the koi industry around the world, his thoughts are of great interest to me.

    I am thinking this just might be the time period when an historical shift has begun, with the true internationalization of koi breeding being before us. If so, it is likely to be decades before we see it all around us, but it is very special to have the sense of being present to see it begin.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Near Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    1,878
    I am thinking this just might be the time period when an historical shift has begun, with the true internationalization of koi breeding being before us. If so, it is likely to be decades before we see it all around us, but it is very special to have the sense of being present to see it begin.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for posting. You can go to the Polish koi sites by searching POLSKIE KOI RYBY
    Regards
    Eugene

  3. #3
    Tategoi bobbysuzanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    411
    I find the koi from Yoshikigoi to be very interesting and extremely imaginative. The Kogane ochiba shigures from there are stunning and the metallic goshikis they are developing are very nice. I look forward to what Mat is going to do at Quality Koi with the new oyagoi he's purchased.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,112
    Still waiting to see a better photo of this one. Too bad Mat is Sooooo busy eating. lol
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Internationalization Of Koi Breeding-12645180_866301906819637_7938842431959661178_n.jpg  

  5. #5
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,653
    Of course a few domestic breeders can produce the quality attained by Japanese breeders. BUT... overall, the Japanese breeders will be one-step ahead of other breeders. I am lucky, I live in an area where there are U.S. Shinkokai Koi dealers that can compete with selling Japanese bred Koi with any domestic Koi breeder.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    Of course a few domestic breeders can produce the quality attained by Japanese breeders. BUT... overall, the Japanese breeders will be one-step ahead of other breeders. I am lucky, I live in an area where there are U.S. Shinkokai Koi dealers that can compete with selling Japanese bred Koi with any domestic Koi breeder.
    Agreed. ...And, you are lucky. Know how many koi dealers are in Florida who import quality fish?

    For quite some time, the koi breeding industry has been divided into those breeders focused on producing quality and those geared to mass production. The growth of mass production outside Japan has had major impacts, driving small Japanese producers out of business and causing younger generations to forsake the family farm. At one time the Fall sales of excess tosai could cover the costs of production, allowing real profit to be earned on the better koi. Competition from southeast Asian mass producers and domestic producers around the world has undercut that economic model. The number of breeders in Japan has plummeted and continues to drop. The larger, well-known breeders capture a growing market share as the quality of their production increases annually, even if only incrementally. It is a relentless competitive process.

    A few years ago some were bemoaning what they saw as a dying hobby. I see it differently. The total volume of koi being produced worldwide has grown enormously. The number of people with koi in a pond has grown. There has never been so many manufacturers of koi food selling such huge volumes of feed. What is dying are the romanticized myths of nishikigoi I grew up on.... if they were ever true. All those wonderful tales Waddington would tell in the pages of NI may have had some basis in fact; but, if so, they grew out of a small world of Niigata breeders with no sense of foreign markets and, certainly, no foreign competition. That world is long gone.

    If we are at the start point for internationalized koi breeding focused on quality production, the competitive forces are going to strengthen mightily. The Japanese breeders who specialize in non-gosanke are especially dependent on exporting and the market for higher priced non-gosanke will only absorb so much production. One farm in Poland is hardly going to drive anyone out of business. But, if the market accepts the idea that quality can be obtained as readily from Europe or New Jersey or Louisiana or China..... Well, business failures are inevitable. The Japanese industry will necessarily become ever more limited to the highest priced levels. When Momotaro produces 6 million Showa kuroki in order to get a few thousand pieces of product, dumping culls on the market, some farmer in Niigata has to close. Just as mechanized global corporate agriculture has eliminated family farms from the American scene, it can be expected that family koi farms will continue to disappear. All very sad in a nostalgic way, but to the benefit of the consumer given more access to ever higher quality at affordable prices.

    Globalization and corporate concentration cannot be avoided in any endeavor.

  7. #7
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,188
    I always enjoy reading your posts Mike. You open up some very interesting topics for discussion, and I think that everyone here appreciates that. The koi world today is very different from what it was 15 years ago. Without getting into too much detail, it's pretty obvious to see that many of the foreign producers that focused on volume have all but disappeared, and the ones that focused on quality are still going strong and producing quality that is getting harder and harder to distinguish from the Japanese, especially at the middle levels.

    I've been to a few farms in China that were producing some very good quality koi. One was run by a very wealthy individual who owned factories that made consumer goods for the Japanese market. He has almost limitless funds for facilities and parent stock, as well as staff. There was another who was also well to do, also a factory owner. He is not doing so well now with respects to breeding. I visited a third breeder who had very little money, but a lot of energy and a can-do attitude. He is doing quite well in his small scale operation. The very rich fellow and the not so rich fellow are both doing well because they shared a common attribute: passion. The other breeder not doing well lacks this and just assumed that throwing money and people at his breeding efforts would solve everything.

    I've seen Jos in Japan more than a few times, and he was always searching out parent stock. It was incredible to watch how long he would inspect a single male, looking for certain attributes. No doubt, he was putting this together in his mind with a candidate female. His passion and knowledge, and ability to learn by observing are clearly evident in the quality that he is producing today in Poland.

    Although I've never had the pleasure of meeting the folks at Purdin, I do see their koi from time to time and they are really doing impressive things down in Louisiana. I really look forward to seeing their new koi posted online.

    And what can you say about Matt from Quality Koi? He is just an all-around great guy with an incredible work ethic, years of experience and knowledge, and imagination tempered with reality. It's always a pleasure to visit him and see what he has going on. He always has a plan afoot, and isn't content with sitting still, and I have the highest admiration for what he's accomplished and who he is.

    It used to be that domestics and imports were easily distinguishable because the former just couldn't develop the bodies that the Japanese koi could. I think that these three breeders mentioned above have figured that bit out for the most part. Other attributes are sure to follow, and then the lines between imports and domestics will blur even further. I'm really excited at this turn in the road for koi production!
    Last edited by Brian; 03-01-2016 at 11:26 AM.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  8. #8
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    755
    In PW's Koi Kichi I, a point is made that has always stuck with me. Something to the effect of 'as domestics develop so do the Japanese'. He uses the phrase 'the goal post moves further'. This is true in many ways, particularly in Gosanke. BUT- in other varieties the Japanese have become quite complacent and have not moved the goal post further. Such is the case in metallics and doitsu metallics. Which is why Jos is successful. The metallics he is producing are exceptional. But, I saw a nice wagoi Showa of his that was raved about, and while it is a great koi, I didn't consider it exceptional considering the mass of high quality Showa seen today. The edge in Gosanke is very, very small, not only among Japanese but among the international scene as well.

    Internationalization of koi was and is inevitable. Ol Peter tried his damnedest to keep it locked up, enticing us with nostalgic tales from the magical land that is exceptional in every way from the land, to the water, to the people, to the food, to the koi itself. But the world didn't listen. Koi farming is not unlike anything else in this world in that high quality koi can be produced just about anywhere- from Poland to Isreal, from USA to Malaysia and everywhere inbetween. Sure the numbers aren't there, but that is more a matter of established business course and not the raw quality of koi.

    Unlike Mike, I am not saddened in any way that a farm couldn't keep up. Shit or get off the pot, is what I say. Sorry you got complacent and were beaten by someone else. What is sad to me is that the history of we got to this point is often lost and is further lost with each new generation of hobbyists'. In addition, the depth of understanding is increasingly lost. New hobbyists can get to a level of pattern appreciation and a basic undestanding of skin qualities very quickly, but the depth and totality of the Nishikigoi appreciation is very weak. And the history is all but gone. To me this is the saddest part. Once history and understanding is lost, it is often never fully recovered.

  9. #9
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,653
    I see it as simple supply & demand economics. If non-Japanese Koi breeders find a niche breeding long fin, metallic, and doitsu Koi... GREAT!
    My favorite U.S. Shinkokai Koi dealer returned from Japan with some tosai. Recently I got a chance to see some of the fish in quarantine and the dealer and I talked about his trip to Japan and the cost of airfare and all the airlines mileage rewards he has. Then he told me that he was going back to Japan in a week. I was shocked. He told me he goes to Japan every month to buy Koi during the season breeders are selling Koi. I also saw a recent Japanese Nichirin issue (bigger and more content than English Nichirin) with a picture with, it looked like hundreds, of Vietnamese Koi hobbyists at a Koi seminar.
    There are hundreds of Koi breeders in Japan. As long as there is a demand (and there is), I am not worried about Japanese Koi breeders.

  10. #10
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,653

    Value priced Japanese tosai.

    http://vid1182.photobucket.com/album...psj8okvpvk.mp4

    They may not come with certificates and be the quality needed to win Baby Champion or Best in Class at Koi Shows, but with an eye for selection and luck I bet there is a chance some, in the future, could win First Place.

    All are late culls from very well known Japanese Koi breeders. Yes, the SU are from that breeder.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Koi Breeding
    By [email protected] in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 02-02-2014, 01:54 PM
  2. Need help in koi breeding
    By Dxbuae in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-19-2011, 03:38 AM
  3. Koi Breeding!! Help!
    By yahtah in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-27-2008, 09:34 PM
  4. My koi breeding
    By Eugeneg in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-07-2007, 06:38 AM
  5. Koi Breeding
    By jenni in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-12-2005, 03:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com