Connoisseur Koi

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Thursday 10th March

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2011 at 10:54 am

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The final day and probably my best. Nogami blew me away this morning with some quite stunning Kohaku. I bought several from his new female parent – she is only 5 years old and 78cm but Nogami is sure she will grow over85cm. Being young she is producing slightly smaller tosai but the patterns are fabulous with beni of the highest quality.Nogami also selected some
cracking Tancho for me and these will arrive back in the UK on Friday 25th March. I was that taken with two of the Kohaku that I have asked Nogami to grow them on for me. I was able to photograph his Number 1   four step Kohaku which is just sublime and this of course will be growing in Japan this summer.
Rush, rush back to photograph Makoto Tanaka’s Numero uno. It has everything – superb beni, snow white skin, amazing body shape and Tsubo sumi and oh yes she is 46cm and tosai! Next to be photographed was a true monster at 48cm. This koi has  amazing bone structure and pefect sumi placement when it reaches 3 years old it will look quite stunning and is set to reach 80cm by yonsai.
Final stop before finishing off the paperwork was to the show ground in Ojiya. The Wakagoi Show takes place on the 9th and 10th April and you can see from the photos how deep the snow is there. The organisers have hired snow ploughs, diggers and 10 trucks at a cost of over 1,000,000 yen (around £8,000) to clear the snow, left as it is  with the weight compacting it  would not melt in time. It looks like this show will make a big loss this year. Makoto is number 2 to Hutoshi Mano(Dainichi) it is good that they can laugh about it!
I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse behind the scenes in snowy Niigata and I hope to catch up with you when the fish come in.

Kind regards Geoff san

Wednesday 9th March

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

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After a very busy few day it was good timing to have an enjoyable day off from buying. That’s if you can call visiting a koi auction as a day off!
The breeders working together since Monday have organised the whole thing. It is held in Mushigame Civic Offices and starts at 8.00am for viewing. At this stage all fish are swimming in their breeders vats and split by size – effectively tosai and on the other side of the hall nissai and over.Each vat carries the breeders name and photographs of the koi entered with the
size and sex if known. At 10.00am the fish start to be bagged up by the breeder. But not the usual bags that we know, they are thick but really bright and amazingly transparent allowing the fish to be viewed as if it were in a fish tank. By 10.30 all fish are bagged and lunch is served prior to the Auction starting at 11.00am on the dot.
Miyatora san who is the current Chairman for the Breeders Association said a few words to open the proceedings followed by Dainichi who said a few words regarding the upcoming Young Koi Show, the Wakagoi, which takes place in April. That done the show commenced! It was explained that all bidding would start at 10,000 Yen and then rise in 1,000 Yen increments or 10,000 yen increments. Once the price passes 100,000 yen it scales up to 10,000 jumps. The bids are made by raising a hand and the winning bidder then shows his numbered table tennis bat and this number is then written on the bag.The noise of the auctioneer is quite hypnotic and the pace is astonishingly rapid. At any time there are up to 5 koi on trolleys ready to be wheeled down the runway between two rows of seats where the buyers are seated. Once sold the koi is then moved to a separate room holding these sold koi. It is a wonderful experience but truthfully the prices bid especially for non Gosanke varieties was quite frightening. There was a strong representation of buyers from Asia who were at times bidding prices that
made your eyes water!
Nogami time tomorrow, I can’t wait.

Tuesday 8th March

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm

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Driving back last night from Kaneko it had started to snow but then obviously carried on overnight. The sprinkler system in the roads is amazing though so no problem at all until I turned up the side road to Kase.  It was 6″ deep but fortunately one car had already driven down so nice and slow and no problems.I was a few minutes early for my 9.00am appointment and was ready to have my socks blown off. I was not disappointed but then I never am at this facility. Everything here is small but perfectly formed but what I picked from including the varieties Yamatonishiki, Goshiki Doitsu and scaled Doitsu Kohaku and amazing Doitsu Sanke, Doitsu metallic Ochiba and the incredibly delicate Peral Gin Rin
Ochiba, metallic Chagoi and topped off with 5 splendid Gin Matsuba – wow!
I needed a rest after that and I was grinning from ear to ear driving back to Takiya where I was meeting KB who was going to show me some very special Asagi that he spawned last Summer. His female parent koi comes from a spawning from a 120 cm female – now that is big by anybody’s standards. Talking with KB today he is hoping that they will ultimately
reach 110cm, they grow at the normal rate but he is expecting them to just keep growing. It will be great to see them as nissai in October. Rush, rush today as then I drove over to Izumiya’s facility in Ojiya. He has sold out of Yamabuki Ogon tosai but he was kind enough to offer me some of his tategoi. A big yes please – 20cm long and quite gorgeous. I was also able to purchase some Platinum Ogon from his second spawning in July hence the size is only 12 to 13cm but quite radiant they looked in the afternoon sun. Not quite finished as Kaneko recommended 4 more Red Kujaku and it would have been rude to say no wouldn’t it?

I will sleep well tonight.

Monday 7th March

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

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Oh what a day, just non stop tategoi. Started with a real variety at Marusho with Makoto allowing access to his normal size tategoi and as well as some cracking Sanke I bought the nicest Beni Kumonryu I have ever seen. It makes you weak at the knees, poor water in the bowl but just wait until I get it home and photograph properly. Then onto Kaneko where I was able to buy some of his normal size Shiro Utsuri tategoi.   I have just enough to offer several sets of 3 tategoi shiro at a seriously attractive price. They were that good that I am growing on two of them this summer. I just love the excitement of that.
Busy day again tommorrow first stop in the morning is Kase the metallic Maestro!

Sunday 6th March

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm


Its great to be roaming the hills again, driving up to Nigorisawa to Kaneko I was having to squint slightly as the light intensity reflecting
off the snow was nearly painful.No time to waste though as I was straight into the tategoi pond and I was delighted to be allowed to select just a few but there are some true gems amongst them. Pick of the bunch has to go to one of the nicest Kumonryu that I have seen in a long time, a Kikisui that takes your breath away and a deep chocolate Ochiba – just unique

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Saturday 5th

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I am out buying tomorrow at Kaneko – this afternoon just setting up some appointments

Saturday 5th March

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

Geoff has just arrived in Niigata today.