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Another deviation from the "Definition of Pro" thread

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  • Another deviation from the "Definition of Pro" thread

    I'm pretty tight with four dealers and 3 breeders. Any of which would be willing to let me buy a fish and keep it at their place till it is a Stonking GC contender.
    We agree to follow accepted and time-honored practices. We both want to have our names attached to GC's, or at least remakable fish that were given their public due.
    So...."He" picks it out since "he" knows his fish. $300 dollars now, $50 a year and when the Momma Pops he tells me and I have him run it to a show. I get the fish back at my Place the day after the show where it rapidly falls apart, and he gets a better rep and more business. We both win!
    but shouldn't the Trophy go in "his" office? So why is it "he" can't show the fish to begin with?
    because of the acceptance of a practice that misplaces who achieved the accomplishment.
  • #2

    I was just reading one of my back issues of KB, which had in it an interview with a hobbyist who had won a very prestigious show. The GC lived in the dealer's pond, was taken to the show by the dealer, and went home with the dealer. Why? Because the owner noted that he was "too affectionate" with his own koi and overfed them--and had ruined many doing so.

    He was very open about this making me think that the Japanese are not as concerned with the "hobbyist as koikeeper before the win" issues as we seem to be here in the US.
    ChrisC

    Comment

    • #3

      Chris, Luke is just stirring the pond as he always does just about 30 days before he gets kicked off yet another board! LOL

      In Japan, there exists a serious relationship between the koi professional and his customers. He puts koi back in the mud pond for the owner, moves them, brings them to a show and back again after treating them for parasites at his own facility. This has been the tradition for the last 40 years or so. I think this also clearly demonstrates that one is a professional and the other is an amateur! No way to confuse the two! Japanese hobbyists are also for the most part, extremely honorable people and respectful people. A Japanese person for instance, would never question his medical doctor in matters concerning his own health because it is strictly the doctor's business! Its odd to hear that when you ask about a Japanese friends health to be told that the Doctor did not share that information but they have full confidence in his abilities?! So as I said before, some things just don't translate to our more aggressive and individualistic culture. And in Japan, a professional is the primary teacher of the hobbyist and the advisor to a koi club. This is always a roll of outsider assisting in making the hobby possible and enjoyable. You can understand then why no self respecting professional would want to be a mere hobbyist! Their roll is distinct and important- and it pays well to boot! It is a thing of honor and something to be proud of- they are professionals.

      JR

      Comment

      • #4

        The relationship you describe really comes across in the KB DVD of Momotaro's operation. I recall that he redirects one hobbyist's choice of fish to show, tells them which fish merit the mud pond and the "big pond" etc. Seems like a symbiotic relationship in that culture. The professional gets to use a lifetime of expertise, and the hobbyist gets to participate in culture of koi without inadvertently humiliating him or herself.

        In our culture, mastery of a hobby would require that we eventually rise above the level where the input of professionals outweighs our own "informed" opinion. I am guessing that your judgements get questioned on a regular basis for this reason by a certain type of person in the hobby.

        For myself I know that I have come to enjoy the communal nature of koi keeping. Friends helping each other with fish, club members standing around tanks talking about koi, people inviting people they hardly know to spend time learning (talking about our own Dick Benbow here...)

        Joy in each other's wins, and seeing great fish just seems more fun than treating the dealers and winning hobbyists as though their dealings are somehow "smarmy."

        Life's too short.
        ChrisC

        Comment

        • #5

          I think that you said it well and I agree with about 99% of what you have said.
          Smarmy dealers? O yea, they exist- big time actually- the stories I could tell! But like all businesses and professionals only a few bad apples spoil the reputation of the bunch. This is even the case in Japan where a few conmen have been identified in the herd. The Chiba dealers often refer to the breeders in the mountains as ' the bandits' in Japanese- true! One tells foreign dealers he is from a noble samauri family. Another sells males as females all day long. And a another I know, 'switches' the names of breeders to suit the demand from abroad. Finally another, a very famous one, carves the heads of almost every tosai with promise- making attractive and unusual head patterns in tosai stock. You can fine scaple blades laying around in the greenhouse that houses the tosai. So this is the world of nishikigoi distribution. Thery are not all devils or all saints. Just people trying to make a living, just too aggressively sometimes. JR

          Comment

          • #6

            The colorful side of the biz....

            After having said how positive I would like to stay about the hobby, JR, you have now whetted my appetite for a "Crooks in Koi" article!

            I think I will need a tour guide on my first trip to Japan.
            ChrisC

            Comment

            • #7

              haha ah! Japan, the land of contradictions! JR

              Comment

              • #8

                Sorry to drift off the subject a bit here....

                JR, I've heard of guys scraping the beni on the head. Is this what you're talking about? If so, how does the head shiro look after the operation? More yellow? Doesn't the beni come back?

                I have a kohaku who jumped and whacked her head on the boardwalk, knocking off a chunk of skin. Now, a year later, the scared spot is red again.

                But back to the topic...

                Luke, the situation you describe sounds like a reasonable thing to do and I do not see anything wrong with it. If, indeed, the show is "all about the koi", then you have improved the show for everyone's benefit. There are really three winners: you, the breeder, and the show. Trophies take up shelf/attic space and collect dust so I'm sure the breeder and the show would be just as happy with a photo of the proud owner.

                -steve hopkins

                Comment

                • #9

                  Hi Steve, yes that is what I'm talking about in that comment. Chris asked about it in another thread above. Often it does come back but always in an obliterated form. JR

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    Originally posted by bekko
                    Sorry to drift off the subject a bit here....

                    JR, I've heard of guys scraping the beni on the head. Is this what you're talking about? If so, how does the head shiro look after the operation? More yellow? Doesn't the beni come back?

                    I have a kohaku who jumped and whacked her head on the boardwalk, knocking off a chunk of skin. Now, a year later, the scared spot is red again.

                    But back to the topic...

                    Luke, the situation you describe sounds like a reasonable thing to do and I do not see anything wrong with it. If, indeed, the show is "all about the koi", then you have improved the show for everyone's benefit. There are really three winners: you, the breeder, and the show. Trophies take up shelf/attic space and collect dust so I'm sure the breeder and the show would be just as happy with a photo of the proud owner.

                    -steve hopkins

                    and the losers are the Hobbyists who bothered to raise koi and have a vested interest in them and bring them to the show and get knocked down by a "Breeder's Fish" albeit "owned for years" by a "hobbyist...and also the show loses because others don't show their koi because they don't want to compete with the dealer's koi...and the non-showers lose becayse they are disheartened by "Dealer/breeder fish being entered as being a Hobbyist's fish. And the person coming to the show to see the fish loses because they don't get to see what the people who have stopped bringing their fish to shows because they don't like "Dealer's Hobby Fish either.
                    And the worst scenario is the poor schmoh that brings his koi to the show only to lose to the dealers' fish when some total retard buys an expensive fish and the dealer convinces them to let him enter it in the show for them (because he has seen what is in the show and knows HIS koi will beat it and therefore he benefits by making the Tard buyer feel like they did something, and the dealer gets the benefit of his name getting called out at the banquet.

                    Let the dealers enter their fish if they want, but disguising it as a "Hobbyist's Fish is pure BS.



                    And please note I have NOT made this personal, just general observations and deductions.

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      I hear you Luke and understand your point of view. I agree with you until I try to imagine what the alternative would be. If you do not allow a hobbyist to show a fish straight from the breeder, then where do you draw the line? Does it have to be in your own pond for a day, week, month, year? It all becomes very arbitrary and completely un-enforceable.

                      I have never been to a koi show, but would like to. Obviously, I have never entered a koi show, but I would like to do that too. The only thing I would have to enter would be something that I grew from scratch and it is unlikely that my best fish would stand a chance against even a mediocre fish from Japan. Trouble is, I would not be allowed to enter since I sell off the junk koi to pay the feed and electric bill for the ponds and am, therefore, a professional.

                      Personally, I think that the show should accept anyone who shows up with a fish and an entry fee - hobbyist, professional, ringer, home-made, whatever. They seem to have a million categories as it is, so it would not be a big deal to have hobbyist and pro classes. If the show is big enough, they can have the "fish which has been in a hobbyist's pond for over a year" class, and on and on. The show can buy trophies for a few bucks each so it doesn't add significantly to the cost to have everyone walk away with an award. The bigger the show, the better the show. The better the show, the more newcomers you can sucker into the hobby. Everyone's a winner.

                      -steve hopkins

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Steve I am with you ...

                        the Rule:
                        Fish can be shown by anyone bringing them to the show from their personal pond.
                        You just have to pull up and get the koi outta your car/truck and sign a sheet right there saying that the koi you brought came for your pond.

                        Another good way to keep as many koi as possible in the show would be to allow 2 groups....
                        1)Fish coming from the homes of koi people
                        2)All other fish (this could include all the professional cared for fish that were purchased previous and during the show, which could be a fun trophy)

                        And the "Chairperson" would never have to stop someone at the door from showing their fish, the fish would just be "reassigned" to the other grouping.

                        The GC down through the "Best in class and size" would still be "open" categories.
                        Personally i would be very happy winning the "best in Kohaku by a hobbyist", and there would be alot of times where a Hobbyist would pull off the upset.

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          You know, I think baseball should have the base runners run clockwise instead of counter clock wise. I don't play the game or actually go to any sporting event like this but I have watched it on TV. And to my way of thinking it would be better if the runner went the other way when they hit the ball. And while we're at it, maybe include someone from the stands to play in each home game to even up the odds. I think this would be seen as more fair and much more sportsman like and bring more people out to the games? You could have ten spectators sign up when they got to the ball park and the winner would be picked from a hat. That would be fairer than allowing these cuban players who swim over here to play the very first year they get here. Or you could let the cuban swimmer play but then you would have to have two spectators on the team- as a rule, I mean- THAT would be the most fair. And that way, someone would always be able to run the bases clockwise that wasn't trained all their lives to run the bases. Yea, that is definitely how baseball should be played---- and don't get me started on 'glow in the dark, uniforms! THAT is the future of night baseball

                          Arm chair Jim

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            JR,
                            Those are all good ideas, go to a baseball webpage and discuss them with your peers.
                            You continue to accept the status quo, even though it was developed without the interest of those that enjoy koi to the point that they will actually raise them to show them.
                            but before you go let me give you a little something about the Sport you've taken up....As I recall last year in Baseball steroid use was considered OK by the people that made the rules. But I think they have actually changed that rule so players that don't do things unsportsman-like can gain an unfair advantage....but Big Pocket Steinbrenner sure is upset that he bought a 123 million dollar Steroid stuffed Giambi and now his baseball player is suffering at the plate because he can't use 'roids any longer.

                            Point is:
                            Just cuz it is a rule and has been a rule it does not make it a legitimate way to decide how it is determined who can show fish and who can not.

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              Luke, what can I say? There are about 4000 members around the world who like and accept the current rules. If you are an amateur and a member you can show fish. It doesn't matter if the purchase was a year ago or an hour ago. It is about the fish competing, who owns it or who cared for it is incidental. Unless it is a dealer, as this puts the shows credibility in jeopardy.

                              It is a nice image to see the koi show as a 4-H type event, but it simply isn’t that same kind of animal exhibition. As I said, koi are the ultimate cut flower. They have a time line- improve, peak, hold, decline. The idea of a koi show is to only bring koi that are peaking or holding! In other words a finished animal in its prime. IF you buy it or grow it doesn’t matter. Except in the negative. Meaning, if you cared for it poorly, it will work against you. This includes the wealthy know-nothing that ruins a good koi in a matter of months and also the hobbyist who tries hard to finish a koi but due to poor water conditions or lack of skills, also ruins a koi. In that regard it is an even playing field.

                              Now let’s play ball !!! ( sorry wrong message board)

                              Comment

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