A Brief History Of The Japanese Koi

A Brief History Of The Japanese Koi

The Japanese koi has been around for decades and it’s unlikely that it will lose its popularity soon.

If anything, it’s gaining more popularity as time passes.

But where did the Japanese koi really originate?

How did it evolve from the common carp to one of the most prized ornamental fishes nowadays.

Well, here’s the Japanese koi: a brief history.

The humble beginnings of the Japanese koi: a brief history

In order for you to fully appreciate the beauty and the fame of the Japanese koi, it’s helpful if you know the Japanese koi: a brief history.

The Japanese koi has a very rich history and it’s wonderful to know how it rose to fame from its humble beginnings.

Here are some notable points in the Japanese koi: a brief history.

 

The Cyprinus carpio, commonly referred to as the Japanese koi, is an ornamental carp variety that has its origins in the common carp.

Although commonly referred to as “Japanese”, the Japanese koi actually first came about in China.

Carps with various colors have been mentioned in ancient Chinese texts as far back as the Jin Dynasty in 4th century AD.

According to ancient Chinese history, King Shoko of Ro gave the son of Confucius a mutated carp.

From then on, the carp became a subject of many Chinese artwork.

 

Due to the resilience of the carp, it was bred by Chinese farmers in rice paddies and turned into a food source.

When China invaded Japan, the Chinese brought this practice with them.

Japanese rice farmers originally bred the carp as food source.

However, when they noticed the variations in color, they started selectively breeding the carps to bring out their beautiful colors.

 

Although the selective breeding of koi has been prevalent in Japan as early as the 1820s, it wasn’t until 1914 that the Japanese koi was introduced to the rest of the world.

In the annual exposition in Tokyo in 1914, the Niigata koi was first exhibited.

It was then that the Japanese koi caught the fancy of people from different countries.

The koi took the world by storm and soon enough, it started being developed in different countries.

 

Decades of selective breeding of the Japanese koi has produced the many varieties of ornamental carps we have today.

As of present, there are over a hundred different breeds of koi fishes.

Despite all these variations (which continuously increase, by the way), Japanese koi fishes can generally be classified into 13 types.

 

These 13 main koi breeds or classifications are the:

  • Kohaku
  • Taisho Sanke
  • Showa
  • Utsuri Mono
  • Bekko
  • Asagi-Shusui
  • Koromo
  • Kawarimono
  • Hikari Mujimono or Ogon
  • Hikari Moyo-mono
  • Hikari Utsuri
  • Tancho
  • The 13th unnamed classification which refers to any fish with lustrous scales

 

I hope that learning about the Japanese koi: a brief history has piqued your interest and has motivated you to take care of koi fishes in your very own pond.

These fishes are a hardy bunch, so it’s a great fish for beginners.

Remember, the Japanese koi survived centuries of selective breeding and mutation!

Like This Article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest