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Buying Tosai

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  • Buying Tosai

    As the though process of a hobbyist is mature, collecting female nisai gosanke (and s. utsuri) tategoi to be grown big in the mud pond is the most cost effective way to do. No high risk tosai, no male and minimum unstable non-gosanke/non wagoi. The serious Japanese hobbyists went through that process first then this process is adopted else where. And so do I.
    With the limited spending money and a big desire/ego .... I can barely get one fish a year! So can someone advise me the second most effective way? Brian bought tosai from Momotaro against the current trend ... is this a right thing to do with the jumbo tosai collection? Donald
  • #2

    Koi knowledge and advancement in the hobby is a personal decision. If you are new in the hobby why don't you buy tosai in gosanke and learn as you go, developing your budget and skill over the years.
    Yes you can pay the price and buy an expensive tosai and have it raised.
    The fee to grow it is less when added up for the cost of koi and growing fees then if you would try and buy that same koi at 4 or 5.
    I could never afford a good koi, I always had to slowly learn what to look for.
    Most of my koi kichi's would buy the breeders top koi at age two or three and raise it for pond fees and win big prizes. I would spend hrs going thru the taragoi
    ( if this would only do that if this would only do this...IF,If If...) the best i ever did was Reserve Grand Champ. So it doesn't hurt to have the resources as this hobby from a competitive viewpoint is costly.
    I will give you ( and others) a trick i learned over the years. When breeders bring their koi in from the mudponds this is the most costly time to buy a koi.
    They are at their very best! For tosai I like to buy when the breeder ( or dealer) selects in the spring which koi will be grown on in the summer from those he kept from last fall and wintered. It means the farmer saw something in them for him to see if they would develop over winter. Maybe he saved 250 knowing some wouldn't turn out and some would. Maybe he has mud ponds to accomodate 200. 50 then will go out for sale. they still may very well have potential. You have a chance to buy a koi that made it thru the first tosai cull the previous fall. When farmers sell tosai in the fall they are called tateshita
    which means they are common grade, not able to make the cut. If you have only enough to buy one good tosai, that's the one you want! So find out which dealers go to japan in the spring and select from those that almost made the cut! Much better chances of being sucessful!
    Dick Benbow


    • #3

      If your interest is in showing koi and winning, then no way to avoid spending large sums. There is so much to enjoy with koi, however, that alternatives exist. Fortunately for me, I enjoy raising tosai and simply trying to understand how koi develop. I might be able to afford an expensive koi, but I would feel guilty spending so much on a fish that could die a week from now for no determinable reason. Besides, I know I do not have the facilities or time to raise the highest quality koi to its full potential. I'm really looking forward to the coming growing season, if I can ever get my new pond built, because I've acquired 5 Showa, nisai and tosai, each a very different type. I'll have the pleasure of trying to maximize their develop & observe their differences over several years. This is something a bit different for me, because I generally acquire tosai solely to keep one season. None have been bought because they have show winning potential, but because they are good examples of their type and dissimilar from the 3 types I'm keeping now.

      I was reading an old interview of Masao Kato, who mentioned his pleasure with development of tosai he had acquired, a rare thing for him to do, apparently. They did not go into the mud pond for some reason, so he regretfully had to put them in his personal pond where they had only about 10,000 gallons per fish. He saw that as holding back their potential. Most of us would consider it the height of luxury. All things are relative.


      • #4

        Hello Dick, your idea is technically good but very hard to implement. The bottleneck is how to find a dealer who has access to tategoi rank #201 (assuming breeder has room for only 200 tategoi). Then breeders prefer not to keep the, now tateshita tosai 201 for you. The available nisai/sansai tategoi are accepted and worthy (to the mind and economic sense of breeder) to keep in their limited mud ponds.

        With Momotato's different bussiness model, real tategoi are sold through a dealer auction and raised for a fee. Buying tategoi tosai from Momotaro is most likely cheaper than buying tategoi nisai elsewhere. The risk is low because their Jumbo tosai is quite well developed! So one can only pick two among the three factors: TIME/COST/QUALITY-SIZE. Among the gosanke, the safetiest buy is the kohaku! I think Brian discovered this strategy but he, as yet, discloses his! Brian, could you share your thought?

        Mike, the first several years (3 ~ 5) are the most important for development. The mud pond environment is the best, even for a "tune up" for an older koi. I would like to collect big, quality first with a minimum cost first ..... then experiment with tosai later .... like you! Donald


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