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how to get a good shiro ?

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  • how to get a good shiro ?

    Hi all,

    Can somebody help me how to determine a good shiro utsuri ? I really have no idea how to get a good one. Oh, if possible can give me a link or a picture for good quality shiro.
    Thanks for the help.

  • #2

    hey stranger, where you been?

    Nice to see you back here posting.

    keep in mind with shiros that the first 2 years the patterns and your ability to see their development is hindered because they are in transistion.

    if your water is soft with lower kh/gh you might want to get one with somewhat of an established looking pattern. If your water is harder you can get one that is whiter but when you look at the black you can see a blue-black for what's showing.

    I'm a sucker for the smaller white ones which usually turn out nice in my water. It's just that it takes awhile.

    if you have room in your pond you might want to try a dark one and a light one and see how they develop.
    Dick Benbow


    • #3

      For a picture, check out the last page of the thread entitled "Showa In Warm Climates" (now on page 3 of the forum directory). A grand one is posted by dbth.

      When the time comes I'm looking for a Shiro Utsuri, I'll want to look first at the body shape. Shiros seem to suffer from having weak/thin back halves of their bodies... almost as if the front half was taken from a large fish and the back half from a different fish 3 sizes smaller. It does seem to me that these are the ones that always have the most attractive patterns! LOL.

      Next, I'll want some reliable basis to believe the Shiro will be as white as possible. This is a tough one, because many of the best Shiro Utsuri are yellowish when young and even mature ones are often yellowish when taken out of a mud pond. So, much reliance may have to be placed on the reputation of the breeder. Which means, you have to have confidence in the dealer who says a particular fish is from a particular breeder.... so much has to be taken on faith.

      Third is the quality of the Sumi.... not the amount. Some place on the fish you want to see the thick, shiny black of Sanke/Bekko ... like in dbth's Shiro Utsuri. I describe it as chips of black overlying one another, rather than being like watercolors pooling along the edge of a scale.

      Last is pattern, but this is my downfall !! For a black & white fish, to my eye, pattern is more important than in other varieties.

      So ..... all I want is great body, perfect white, lacquer black and eyecatching pattern! Maybe someday I'll be willing to spend the amount it takes to get all 4 in one fish!

      ....Actually, if you are willing to stock males, I do see some nice ones listed on the internet by dealers in the U.S. and U.K. And, the prices for some really nice looking ones are not too expensive, and males do not suffer from the body conformation problems to the same extent as females.


      • #4

        If you want a good shiro, the most important element is the shiroji ground. This means that the white must not only be very white, it must also be bright! There are many types of skin in shiro lines. Some are naturally better than others. You want to find the fish with white but also with a high degree of what the Japanese call luminous cells ( really a clear cell in skin that reflects light).

        Once you have this skin type the pattern ON the skin is improved and often tends to 'float' on the body. It would be nice to then add a high class sumi to this picture but you will pay dearly for that option! So even second class sumi will look excellent on the right white skin.

        Pattern in shiro under the old standards, required a 'reflecting' or checkerboard arrangement. This is no longer the case and 'reflection' now refers to the interplay in shiro and sumi itself and not just the pattern symmetry.

        Here is a very good shiro. Study the shiro. This is in very strong light and there isn’t any flaw. This is rare as most shiro, even some expensive patterned ones, do not possess this shiro quality.

        Best of luck on your hunt, JR
        Attached Files


        • #5

          J.R thanks for the pict,
          I send you back a photoshop aquarel of them
          Attached Files


          • #6

            Very nice i have just got a small one to have a bash at growing on which is a first for me.I have attached a picture of and at the moment it is 15cm.

            Not the best of pictures but give you an idea.

            Any comments good or bad a very welcome and appreciated.




            • #7

              What do you think of shiro I got from Kodama? Maybe female, on the thin side and has a small hi I believe will fade, but has almost checker board pattern, sumi on nose looks rich dark.
              Attached Files


              • #8

                Gaz & Sundan: You have both selected very nice traditional patterns. I think each will be real pond ornaments.

                Gaz: I think you need to hope it does not finish too soon. For 6" , it is well along.

                Sundan: I saw that one and thought somebody would take the risk. ...Now, elsewhere on this board is a thread about surgical improvement that .....


                • #9

                  Mike , here is one of my baby koi for a while ago. What do you think about this development at this age? JR
                  Attached Files


                  • #10

                    OK JR, I'll stick my head out on the block on this one.

                    1) shiroji is excellent;
                    2) conformation is great for that age;
                    3) sumi shows high-quality signs, yet to be confirmed,
                    4) sumi in the dorsal indicate strong sumi development ahead:
                    5) no problem with yellow shade on head, will go away.

                    If the hi spot by the flash glare is not real, I would buy it :-)
                    If it is not a glare, I would not count on it going away.

                    So now show the next-year's photo.


                    • #11

                      the reddish mark near the glare should be some sort of flare/glare from the camera ... not on the fish.


                      • #12

                        8" Seki, photo taken in Japan a few years back. With his stock and parents gone, he perhaps would like this one back to remake some of his line.



                        • #13

                          Originally posted by Maurice
                          8" Seki, photo taken in Japan a few years back. With his stock and parents gone, he perhaps would like this one back to remake some of his line.
                          I like the oyabone on this one Maurice. Got a picture of how the motoguro turned out? I'll bet it's nice and tight now.
                          Brian Sousa
                          Koi-Bito Forum


                          • #14

                            Some nice shiro's here ;-)


                            "Gentlemen prefer ponds"


                            • #15

                              A couple of pics that tell a tale.

                              The first is the polaroid of a few shavers purchased at Seki's in mid 90's. Note the central one pointing straight down in the pic. The other pic is this shiro in 2002, size 6 taking best shiro in show (regardless of size) at the BKKS National in '02.
                              She's alive and well today, over 30 inches but her show career is over.
                              Attached Files

                              "Gentlemen prefer ponds"


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