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My nisai kohaku at Momotaro one growing season on.

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  • My nisai kohaku at Momotaro one growing season on.

    As many will remember, at the March auction at Momotaro I was lucky enough to purchase a jumbo tosai kohaku. The photo and size on it's certificate (given with higher quality Momotaro koi) was taken 16th Feb, with the size at 44cm. Come the auction 28th March it had grown to 49cm. At that time along with one other the same size was the biggest in the auction.

    I had attended the auction with one view in mind, to buy the koi that I felt in my eye would grow into the best parent koi prospect. On picking the koi prior to the auction I showed Daisuke Maeda, he was pleased I had picked that koi, but was afraid it would be too expensive for me. Anyway I got lucky pushed the limit a little and it was mine. After the auction, Mr Maeda said he thought he could grow it to 90cm, I'm hoping so.

    These tosai, sold in the spring are guaranteed female and if any turned out male they would be replaced. Off they went to the mud pond for summer but things did not go according to plan in the pond , a male or two had slipped through the checking. Remember these were only 12 months old, my female being one of the very biggest, was also one of the maturest, there was a huge spawning in the pond. They place cat fish in the ponds, just in case of this happening, so as many eggs as possible would be eaten.

    Anyway, either the cat fish did not do a very good job or the shear number of eggs was too many, but come harvest time thousands of fry were caught, enough to fill a large one meter bowl to the top.

    Most koi in the pond still grew well, even though the food had to be split between many more koi than was planned. My female grew 11cm, much less than many, but it is my experience that females which have spawned in a season loose out on growth that season, as they spend most the time replacing lost eggs.

    She had grown from 49cm to 60cm, but I must admit, I was hoping for nearer 70cm. Only time will tell if she will catch up those lost centimeters, but she will stay at Momotaro for another 2 years.

    In the pond she living in for the winter, she has by far the whitest skin of all.

  • #2

    That's a very beautiful fair lady Maurice. The picture on the right seem to be having lesser body volume. Did you took it after she spawned?



    • #3

      Maurice, thank you. This is very educational. Even from pictures!

      I have one question.
      The first picture shows a deeper type beni. In my limited experience, darker beni tends to stay the same color or darken at age 5 or 6. The only expection I have seen is in some Hiroshima bred sanke. In your fish, the second photo shows a lighter color than the first. Almost a red/red beni turning to an orange/orange beni?
      Is this the photo/lighting etc.? Or is this a true transformation as we sometimes see in Sakai Hiroshima fish?



      • #4

        Jim, both pictures are a little out, the first and second were not taken with the same camera. The beni is a little dark in the first and the second has a glare over the water softening the beni a little.
        Please give your opinion of this koi. Your thoughts are valued.

        To give some idea of the volume this koi had over most of the others, here is a photo of one batch of auction koi, all from the same spawn, my kohaku is just coming into shot, bottom, second left.
        I think you can see from this photo, Momotaro are not ignoring quality and pattern over size, all koi through the auction were over 40cm and 11 months old.

        I think the true colour can be seen.


        • #5

          Swordfish, yes the photo was taken just a few days after harvest, she had spawned in the mud pond through the summer sometime.


          • #6


            I presume once the pond was netted, they were able to identify the males? Would Maeda be able to learn from this later identification, how they got it so wrong?
            Very interesting story by the way.
            Regards, Bob
            ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
            <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


            • #7

              Maurice, I recently had a chance to see a momotaro ( actually the one that we saw together in the new fish house that day we met up) after one year in a USA pond. It was along side of a matsunosuke ( Isawa) and Iggy Kazuto fish ( dainichi/sen). It was very interesting seeing the very different beni types on the different combinations of lineage. I'll post a picture when I get home.

              Your koi is similar to that momotaro of QKs. It doesn't have the classic stars of Sakai Isawa's fish. But the beni is strong and soft- very nice. And the shiroji is unbelievable! I also really like the bone structure- obviously a growing fish. Its a shame she spawned!
              I would have been a little hesitant about buying a jumbo tosai/nisai with a limited pattern. The concern being that the pattern could not keep up with the growth rate and either look small or actuallt break up with explosive growth. But obviously this is not a valid concern as the pattern 'fits' as well now as it did when you bought her. And the sashi says " the beni is deep and therefore uniform in the plate.
              Honestly Maurice I think you have a very impressive tategoi. The next step- volume. I think that will transform this fish dramatically. JR


              • #8

                Look carefully at Maurice's vat shot. The following Koi are in that Tosai pic from March this year.

                This Koi measures 58cm now. Belongs to Stuart, from this board.
                Second Koi is 55cm, and sold just a couple of months ago.
                Third Koi is now 57cm (also sold).

                Attached Files


                • #9

                  Bob, sexing 11 month old koi is not written in stone. Traditionally year old koi have been around 10cm going out to the mud pond and sexing was not possible until their second harvest. Size and maturity wise, these koi are advanced a year over the traditional year old babies.



                  • #10

                    Dear Maurice

                    You have a great tategoi there. It is a pity she spawned and we will never know what she would have been in terms of size. Please keep us updated on her development.

                    I am curious to know how soon after she spawned she was netted and measured. I may be wrong but looking at the photo she could not have spawned too long ago and if so, the spawning would not have affected the growth (in length) too much. What is the average size for this batch of jumbo tosai?



                    • #11

                      I agree, that the spawning wouldn't have set the Koi back too much in terms of growth. But, imagine two round blue bowls of about 80cm diameter full of fry from around 10cm to about 30cm. These bowls were containing fry, not water. Some of them were actually decent looking Koi, but were still thrown out because their parents were not known. All of these Koi were competing with about 65 bigger Koi for the daily food rations. I have one Sanke that grew like a freak despite this, coming out at 65cm. The most popular size out of the pond was abour 55cm.



                      • #12

                        Maurice, thanks for sharing your pics and stories. Glad you were able to pull MS into the mix. We never hear from that guy.

                        The pattern on your koi for what you picked her for is very nice. I like the deep sashi. will be interesting to see what you pair her with. any ideas yet?
                        Dick Benbow


                        • #13

                          Dick, if the kohaku continues to perform and is good enough to stay in Japan, she will not come to the UK till autumn 2006, or spring 2007.
                          She will be used for breeding in 2007, the plan is by then I shall have my own bred males to pair up with her.
                          I expect the males will be of Momotaro line, produced from Eagle line female and Sakurahime line male.

                          I plan on running several totally different lines of kohaku, some close to Momotaro. I also have a female kohaku, which I am told is from one of the purest line sensuke kohaku still produced. I shall try for a while to keep this female for my sensuke males I have had for years, or perhaps some others lines I have.



                          • #14


                            "I also have a female kohaku, which I am told is from one of the purest line sensuke kohaku still produced."

                            Hi Maurice,

                            I'm a huge Sensuke Kohaku Groupie,... do you have any photos of yours you can share? Do you know it's origins?

                            Also, thanks much to you & Mike Snaden for sharing the Maeda Koi photos,... some excellent looking Koi!

                            Best Wishes,


                            • #15

                              Brady, the story of my sensuke kohaku is a long one, January 2003 I went to the All Japan show. After I went up to Niigata and then later travelled south to Mihara to meet up with our friend Naoki. It was during one of the rare occasions they had snow in the Hiroshima area. Naoki drove his car from Tokyo and had planned picking me up from Mihara station, but the weather was so severe he could only get his car off the express way and dump it in a filling station. He phoned one of the breeders we were visiting to explain we were stranded, this was a young breeder called Oyama.

                              Oyama san said not to worry and he would collect us and take us back to his place in the 4 wheel drive truck. He lives in the mountains, the name of the prefecture escape me right now, weather came in worst, he decided it was silly taking us back to our pre-booked hotel and asked us to stay with him and his family.

                              Well we ended staying 3 nights with him, he was good enough to ferry us round to the planned breeders and each even we returned to his home. Naoki had pictures of all my koi on his laptop and we spent hours looking through them and discussing their merits. One male koi I owned drew his attention, he was impressed by it’s quality, but said it needed a very special female to pair with, less it may produce many heavy pattern and bengoi babies.

                              Anyway on the last day of our stay with Oyama san, I was looking in his 2 year old sales pond and asked if he thought he had koi which may make suitable oyagoi for me, he hustled me off to his pond with all his big koi and pointed to a superb tancho kohaku. He explained that my male he was looking at the evening before had many qualities, but the pattern was a little heavy and may pass on to its babies. In his eyes this would be the perfect partner for it.

                              I looked at the koi and could not see how I was going to be able to afford that sort of quality at that point in time. He went on to explain that he was a breeder of sanke, showa and kohaku, he had bought the tancho as nisai for the express purpose of using it for oyagoi, but during the summer decided to sell his oyagoi kohaku and concentrate on sanke and showa. Well at the time this tancho was in the mud pond growing and stayed there till harvest. He went on to say that the tancho had a small kink in its leading dorsal ray and this stopped it being a show koi, he had bought it from a small breeder who had stuck very closely to the original sensuke line. He thought it was the purest sensuke available?

                              Anyway he went on to say he was impressed at what I had achieved so far and wanted to help if he could, he said I could have the tancho for what he had paid at nisai. An absolute bargain for me, she was then sansai and 66cm. It was 40cm when he placed it in the mud pond, he thought it would grow very large, but advised me that working on my own, it was better not to try and grow the koi too large, as handling large koi on your own is very difficult, it did not need to be big, it was carrying the genes to pass on.

                              Anyway that is the story of my sensuke tancho kohaku, sadly I have never found out the name of the breeder. Somehow it got forgotten, it’s hard when having to work through an interpreter.

                              She's 70 something now, I did not get chance to use her this year, but will next.

                              Straight from the bag from Japan, Feb 03. I do not a have current photo.



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