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Thread: Shiro Utsuri Video: More Than Eye Candy

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Shiro Utsuri Video: More Than Eye Candy

    I came across this video and it struck me as a wonderful example of the contemporary Shiro Utsuri that exemplifies how far Shiros have come. Notice that the shiroji is so pure that you can be forgiven for thinking it is doitsu at first glance. Notice that the sumi patterning has no real relationship to the traditional wrapping sumi of 20 years ago. Notice that the motoguru is so incomplete that it could almost appear on a Sanke as overly heavy tejima. Notice the body is very much that of Showa... and a pretty good one at that.

    As I have commented before, today's Shiro Utsuri really is not the Shiro Utsuri of history. It has been refined to the point of really being an entirely new variety that mimics Shiro Utsuri in phenotype.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia7saHpudqI

  2. #2
    Nisai An Ly's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link Mike, that is Amazing to see, would love to add a shiro to my collection.

  3. #3
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    They should call this new and improved shiro utsuri - "kindai shiro utsuri". :-) Given that shiro utsuri and showa are closely linked genetically, I wonder...why are the breeders taking so long to inject this type of shiroji into showa?

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Good question, Sunny.

    I'll ask another: Is it possible to have lasting beni on an absolute pure white ground?

    There have been lines of Kohaku which produce offspring with very white shiroji and bright true red beni. However, few have their Hi last. If it makes it to sansai, the Hi becomes weak or dull (or both). The few exceptions are remarkable, but do not attain a size that allows them to compete for major awards. When glamour photos are published, we see bright pure whites and glowing pure reds, but in person neither is accurate. The red will have an orangey cast to it, and the white will be faintly hued to the point of being an 'off-white'. Hold a sheet of white paper next to the koi and the shiroji will appear a bit yellowish. ....I'd suggest anyone showing a Kohaku and a Shiro Utsuri reserve separate tanks so the difference is not so stark.

    What I find curious is that today's best Shiro Utsuri trace back to Omosako's work using Showa as a parent. The refinement process focused on eliminating red pigment from the gene pool as completely as possible. (Yes, some specks of red still show up. Perhaps even these vestigial remnants will be eliminated in time??) The result is a pure white that on a Kohaku would be labeled 'hard white' by many.... i.e., something to be avoided. When searching for a Shiro, we want the purest white we can find. That makes selection of Shiro tosai very challenging, since it is not unusual for the tosai to have yellowish heads that become quite white as they mature.... but some will get more yellow with age. A few years ago I was at Quality Koi in New Jersey when there were what seemed like thousands of tosai Shiros in the over-wintering greenhouse. Individually, the whites on them all looked very much the same. But, when viewing the horde in their tank, it was obvious that some were pinkish, some were a faint peach hue, some were a bit bluish. If I was going to purchase a nisai or older Shiro from a dealer's inventory, I think I'd want to have a sheet of white paper with me so I could get a better sense of just how white they were.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Mike, that shiro had such sharp edges between the sumi and the shiro. Certainly could fool me as a doitsu. Truly outstanding. But there must be something to your statement that it mimics the classic shiro utsuri. What are its parents? Is there some doitsu lineage in it? The koi alchemists are hard at work.

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