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Thread: how does sumi finish on sanke? front to back?

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    how does sumi finish on sanke? front to back?

    or back to front? just curious if there was a set pattern for how it finishes....on sanke, specifically...

  2. #2
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    At one of the AKCA seminars, Joel Burkhardt was translating for the crowd with a panel of japanese breeders. A similar question came up and Joel translated it and immediately burst into laughter at the reply. Composing himself he then straight faced explained that the breeder's response was, "just a minute and I'll go ask God"...

    Not to take anything away from your question, but there are only rules of thumb that are not 100%...
    they consist of things like.....Sumi is always strongest in the tail region

    Sumi emerging from under the skin in the dorsal area of sanke leave doubt as to whether the tail stop or shoulder sumi will appear if none is present.

    black on the gill plate is an indicator of quality sumi when and wherever
    it appears.

    My experience has taught me that I would rather select a tosai with the
    important shoulder sumi up then all along the body from the tail forward
    yet no shoulder sumi is showing.....

    Matsunosuke black often comes up and goes down the first several years,
    so a shoulder sumi can show at tosai and not be there at nisei (at least to be able to be seen)

    the only thing I know for sure is that you can judge the quality of the sumi that has appeared it's first two years of age but genetics and water also play a large part in what happens as for pattern. Sumi in the white tends to be more stable.
    Dick Benbow

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Dick: When I ask, should I direct my question to the pond kami, or the mischievous one that comes and goes?

  4. #4
    Jumbo
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    It depends on your karma. If your karma is good the sumi on your Sankes will finish evenly in all places, and it will also be in sync with the finishing of the red and white.

    Best Wishes,
    Brady Brandwood








  5. #5
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Brandwood View Post
    It depends on your karma. If your karma is good the sumi on your Sankes will finish evenly in all places, and it will also be in sync with the finishing of the red and white.

    Best Wishes,
    Brady Brandwood







    That's a great last comparison there, Brady. I am picking up that sanke I asked you about a couple weeks ago. I hope to pick it up in the next two weeks.

    Ethan

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    Ethan, The answer to your question depends on what type of sumi you are looking at. I just had a conversation with a friend on this very subject. There is nothing magical about sumi. It is a natural wonder in mutation, mind you, but not steeped in some such mystical terms as to be unable to understand. If you understand the basic genetics and physiology of the skin you can get your head around what you are seeing in living examples.

    We are finally pulling out of the era when genetic traits of koi were these secrets supposedly held back by the few enlighten Japanese and their disciples. That was a fun time, but pretty much a BS time. Salespeople have continued to obscure the facts out of either ignorance or actually not wanted people to know these facts ( as if you know, you are not likely to buy much in the way of tosai).

    So lets begin at the beginning and I will go into this as far as you want and as far I know---

    Sumi is nothing more than melanin production within specialized cells in the fish's skin. And like any other trait the cells can be :

    1) Large or small
    2) Dense when they pack against one another or not so dense
    3) Mixed with other color cells of other colors
    4) AND MOST importantly, located at different depths in the skin. I call this The Locality Of their Genetic expression

    OK, side bar: since sumi 'floats within the dermis layer of a fish's skin ( shimmies for example are on the very top or even in the epidermis) a lot will depend on how THICK the dermis layer is to begin with. And further, baby fish have VERY thin dermis, and male fish have a different dermis thickness and texture than female fish do. So naturally sumi is going to look different in fish depending on sex of the fish and age of the fish. In addition, the presence of luster cells is a transforming factor and can make sumi look different than it's true nature/location might otherwise express.
    So when you see unfinished sumi, you are seeing BOTH the maturing and organization of those sumi cells as well as the expansion and maturing of the media ( the skin) the color is located in.

    I'll stop here and see if anyone has a question or wants to add something to the conversation--- JR

  7. #7
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Ethan, The answer to your question depends on what type of sumi you are looking at. I just had a conversation with a friend on this very subject. There is nothing magical about sumi. It is a natural wonder in mutation, mind you, but not steeped in some such mystical terms as to be unable to understand. If you understand the basic genetics and physiology of the skin you can get your head around what you are seeing in living examples.

    We are finally pulling out of the era when genetic traits of koi were these secrets supposedly held back by the few enlighten Japanese and their disciples. That was a fun time, but pretty much a BS time. Salespeople have continued to obscure the facts out of either ignorance or actually not wanted people to know these facts ( as if you know, you are not likely to buy much in the way of tosai).

    So lets begin at the beginning and I will go into this as far as you want and as far I know---

    Sumi is nothing more than melanin production within specialized cells in the fish's skin. And like any other trait the cells can be :

    1) Large or small
    2) Dense when they pack against one another or not so dense
    3) Mixed with other color cells of other colors
    4) AND MOST importantly, located at different depths in the skin. I call this The Locality Of their Genetic expression

    OK, side bar: since sumi 'floats within the dermis layer of a fish's skin ( shimmies for example are on the very top or even in the epidermis) a lot will depend on how THICK the dermis layer is to begin with. And further, baby fish have VERY thin dermis, and male fish have a different dermis thickness and texture than female fish do. So naturally sumi is going to look different in fish depending on sex of the fish and age of the fish. In addition, the presence of luster cells is a transforming factor and can make sumi look different than it's true nature/location might otherwise express.
    So when you see unfinished sumi, you are seeing BOTH the maturing and organization of those sumi cells as well as the expansion and maturing of the media ( the skin) the color is located in.

    I'll stop here and see if anyone has a question or wants to add something to the conversation--- JR
    I have a question (or two) concerning lustre cells and sumi development. Is it possible that the submerged sumi one might view beneath a young koi's skin be unable to rise in its entirety as it matures due to the the concentration of lustre cells present? Can shiroji + lustre cells be so thick as to limit the amount of sumi that will be allowed to rise to the surface in a shiroji area, so that, say, a thick band or spot of submerged sumi might end up being expressed as a much smaller, narrower rivulet or spot of black than the submerged view suggests? And finally, what is the basic difference between Sanke sumi and Showa sumi in it's development and presentation? I think Ethan is wondering about the adage about Showa sumi developing from back to front being compared to sumi development in Sanke....
    Marie

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  8. #8
    Daihonmei
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    Hi Marie,

    The term or 'visual' that sumi 'rises' from some depth in the skin is not technically accurate. It is just a vision of the Japanese breeder and a way to envision what is nothing more than Genetic expression in a maturing skin layer (the Dermis).
    So when we look at baby koi we see right thru a thin layer of bright skin right down to the skull/brain and even muscle (pink). As the fish grows this skin becomes more expanded. And we see showa, for instance, loose the black camouflage of the base dermis color. Male fish however continue to show 'what is there' much better as their skin does not get much thicker- only maturer (if that is a word?)
    The dermis covers all of the body of course. But it thins out as you approach certain areas like the pec fins and head. You can usually see the color cells better in that area. Yet the number and layers of color cells is always less due to the confined space. It can be 'dense' for the room it has but never as dense and complex as the dermis on the wagoi body itself. In addition, the scales play a role here. Scales make the skin more complex as they both interfere (due to their positioning) and enhance (the skin wraps the scale and produces a 'doubling' opportunity for sumi presence both above and below the scale).

    So I absolutely 'get' what Ethan is asking and all the theories about showa sumi finishing front to back or back to front. But that is based on genetic expression of a line or cross trait. And not a hard fast rule of sumi as a subject. Yet for a line, it can be a tendency.

    Finally, showa sumi is deeper wild sumi found in the dermis midway or at the base. Sanke sumi is large dense sumi found in all areas of the dermis and above and below the scale.. This get's complicated as the difference between sanke and showa sumi also involves pattern restriction and pattern expression. Typically showa sumi, of instance, is found within the pattern expression of an individual koi. It is wrapped in nature and typically found in areas of the fish. It is natural then, that it is also found in predictable depths within the skin, fins, mouth etc. This is changing but that is the fundamental orientation of black based sumi limited to pattern expressions. JR

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    If I might be permitted to add to the 'confusion' of no hard rules.... I believe sumi can appear in the underlayers of the skin, giving a blue or bluish appearance, and never consolidate in the upper dermis.

  10. #10
    Daihonmei
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    Thus proving that like real estate, sumi is all about three things- location, location and location! This means vertically as well as laterally. JR

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