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Thread: Which koi is the Marudo kohaku

  1. #11
    Jumbo l113892's Avatar
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    Interesting responses. Seems to be split between the first one and second one. Jacovors- you got it right. Both kohaku are female; both are Marudo! Very different body shapes and very different skin tone and extremely contrasting beni. I want to ask Mr. Hirasawa about his different parent koi. I believe before the earthquake he had two kohaku parent sets. I'm guessing these two fish came different parent sets.


    Next question- one of these fish cost 10x as much as the other. Can you tell which one was the most expensive?

  2. #12
    Tategoi jacovors's Avatar
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    No 1 By far the better fish. Just look at the shiro and skin quality.

  3. #13
    Oyagoi Bob Winkler's Avatar
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    Mike,


    Is the beni in koi # 2 as hard now as it looks? or is the picture not quite representative of what you see b4 you...

  4. #14
    Jumbo l113892's Avatar
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    Bob-

    Koi #2-

    The beni does not look hard to me but along the sides of the fish, it is not solid. I would want the beni to be solid between the kiwa and the sashi and it is not. It is just as deep and dark of red as it would appear from the picture. You may be able to see it in this picture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which koi is the Marudo kohaku-auction-kohaku2.jpg  

  5. #15
    Oyagoi Bob Winkler's Avatar
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    Ahh yes, that is better. I was meaning harder relative to the beni in the picture of Koi #1.

    Not sure this is fair for me to talk about worth of the two, having seen one in person in Japan. The beni I remember was very good and soft on Koi # 2. Softer than I would guess from the picture of it. The easy choice from the pictures might be koi # 1, nice body, shiroji, and show pattern, but I choose koi # 2 as the higher priced koi.

  6. #16
    Jumbo l113892's Avatar
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    Bob-

    Please define harder for my benefit and others that might be reading this. The term harder has never been a very meaningful term to me when describing the beni on koi.

    Mike

  7. #17
    Oyagoi Bob Winkler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by l113892
    Bob-

    Please define harder for my benefit and others that might be reading this. The term harder has never been a very meaningful term to me when describing the beni on koi.

    Mike
    I would love to, but I have archived a post by JR that described/defined beni qualities in more detail than I could....It is a bit more than you asked, but the 'answer" is in there. Hopefully he won't mind it being posted again.

    Beni by Sensei JR-

    There are fundamental truths about beni. But then, based on lines, there are no universal truths at all!
    There is definitely 'HARD' white and ‘ SOFT’ white/shiro ground. Some of this is of course genetic, some is based on sex, some on age and some on just conditioning and general health. So with all these variables, we can only speak in generalities and not specifics. If we do try and make a hard rule here, we will loose objectivity.
    Beni comes in at least eight color types and these types are based on what mix of color cells a gosanke carries. So we have orange, orange/orange, red, orange/red, purple/red, yellow/orange, brown/orange, pink/red.
    Then based on sex, you have different development of each of these colors. And of course, it is 99% females that show the softest skin with the deepest amount of color cells.
    Then there is the general lighter shade based on age. The classic being a redder head than the beni on the body and deeper colored centers within every scale of a tategoi.
    And then you have lines. And they will tend to develop in similar yet different ways and at a different pace. This is one reason why breeders will not feel too comfortable talking about how other breeders with very different lines than their own will develop. But he will speak with greater confidence about what might happen to his stock over time.
    The major dividing line between average quality and good quality is around color response to growth. The concept of elastic beni is a very important part of this determination. In the old days, a koi was bought with a large pattern because as the fish grew, the pattern would tend to remain the same size. So a pattern that ‘fit’ a small koi would be too small for a grown koi. The danger of growing a koi quickly back then always risked a break and crack in the pattern or the appearance of windows, a definite devaluation of a kohaku. Today the best stock have more color cells in the epidermis, dermis and deep dermis. They also have more fat cells within the dermis due to diet and selective breeding. These become gathering points for color- especially sumi.
    And finally, today’s beni is highly dependant on colorless cells within the skin that create a luminescence in the skin. This is captured by the human eye as ‘ a certain quality’ to the beni. In fact it is a compound effect of different types of cells.
    Sashi and beni definitely vary with lineage. Some great lines have NO sashi. Some great lines have razor shape kiwa. Others have a gentle scalloped effect. And some contract the beni at the base of fins and around scales. Too hard to make a fast rule. Each type needs to be appreciated for what it is. And you can imagine, it takes a lifetime to get on top of some of these things. Every year I go to Japan now I feel I know less and less. It can get quite discouraging- BUT I LOVE IT!


    So we can only speak in general terms. There is no doubt that there is a lot of fun to be had talking ‘inside tips and facts’ about beni and quality over a few drinks at Nomoles! These points and tidbits should be retained. But not taken to heart. They are indicators for predicting the future. But very few are actually guarantees. While we are on the subject- when looking at asagi, look for a few red dots in the dorsal of asagi. They will be in a row. If they are there, the asagi will develop good red and stay clean over more of its life time than asagi that do not have this trait- True! JR

    Best regards,

    Bob Winkler

    My opinions are my best interpretation of my experiences. They are not set in stone as I intend to always be a student of life. And Koi.


  8. #18
    Jumbo l113892's Avatar
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    Bob-

    While I do appreciate the content of Jim's post, I do not see a description of soft beni within this narative.

    He does talk about the various beni colors: orange, orange/orange, red, orange/red, purple/red, yellow/orange, brown/orange, pink/red. Would anyone like to suggest what color(s) from this list, do these two koi represent? What would the difference between orange and orange/orange be? Within a beni scale, one can have a slash or a deep dimple. What represents higher quality?


  9. #19
    Oyagoi Bob Winkler's Avatar
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    Ahh, upon further reading, it appears you are right. I have copied the wrong post! Doh. LOL at myself. Most of any small knowledge I have gained has mostly been pirated from other sources. Toshio Sakai talks about hard and soft beni in this post from his website:

    Beni literally means “red pigment” in Japanese. Using the analogy of Beni as paint, it can be experienced that when one paints surfaces with thin paint he/she will experience the pigment spreading smoothly over the surface. Painting over a surface many times with lightweight paint will result in an even tone surface color with depth and saturation as the result.

    Hard paint will not spread smoothly and will leave an uneven surface color and texture. This concept can be applied to Beni. As a pigment, it must have soft even quality, which seems almost wet and elastic like a wet painted surface.

    The difference between cotton and silk is obvious in shininess. The shininess of silk is caused by its smooth texture. In evaluating different qualities of Hiban, comparison based on Beni color alone can be difficult, but a careful inspection of the shiny luster of Beni helps choosing a long lasting Hiban with the quality like 100% silk.


    So to me, Hard beni is the deeper, more purple red that looks like one coat of paint, and the soft beni is more like a thick silk, with several coats of paint. In another description, it would be like if one were able to bend the koi into a "U", the softer, more silky beni would show the underneath layers, no color breaks, while the harder beni would "break" at the bending point. This reminds me a bit of your description of your koi #2. That it is breaking up at the edge. The harder beni is a bit more stark, more "garish", if that is the right word. Kind of like a very naturally beautiful woman without makeup compared to a ... LOL. well, the cliche' old west prostitute with heavy makeup. Softer beni is also less likely to be a victim of hikkui, in my experience.

    This is hard to describe well, without the koi in front of you. Also, having seen the second koi myself in person, the beni being fairly soft at that time in my opinion, it is hard to call that "hard" now. It just looked harder in the picture on my screen relative to the picture of koi #1. I have attached pictures of two of our koi that I know demonstrate the two types of beni. The beni in person looks much like the picture, while the shiro does not. (the noses are white in real life... yeah right..LOL Isnt that always the way?) The 3 step kuchibeni having a harder beni, both in the picture and in person compared to the other kohaku. Both large koi. Hopefully that helps show the difference? As an aside, the 3 step did develop hikui, much like a breeder judge told it would. A year before it ever did.

  10. #20
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    looking at the photos again, I would say Kohak #1 would be the most expensive, why? Dunno. I just see more potential in the Kohak in pic number #1.

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