different types of kohaku

different types of kohaku
different types of kohaku
Kinds of kohaku diagram different types of kohaku

different types of kohaku Definition

A Koi with white skin and a red pattern. The Kohaku is a representative class of the Nishikigoi. Though its colour is plain, only white and red, it reminds all the Japanese of the national flag of Japan. In the koi world, there is a saying, “Keeping the Nishikigoi begins with the Kohaku and ends with the Kohaku.”First people are attracted by the beauty of the Kohaku, and gradually charmed by the Showa or the Ogon, but finally, they go back to the Kohaku again. That means the Kohaku is the prototype of the Nishikigoi.

It was around 1800 that a red and white koi appeared for the first time. By mutation, a koi with red cheeks called “Hookazuki”was born from a black carp. Then a white koi was born from “Hookazuki”The white koi being mated with a Higoi, a white koi with Hi markings was breed and called “Hara-aka (Red Bell)”Later kois with Hi markings on the gill covers “Hoo-Aka (Red cheeks)”or Era-Hi 9Red gills)”were bred. Later than 1830 a “Zu-kinkaburi”whose head is partly red, a “Merikaburi”whose whole head is red, a “Kuchi-beni”of which lips are red and a “Sarasa”which has red and white markings on the back were bred. In the Meiji era Kohakus spread all over Yamakoshi and were improved.

It was by Gosukie of Utogi that so-called modern Kohaku was bred. Utogi is a part of Ojiya City now, His real name was Kunizo Hiroi. He mated a male koi of the cherry blossom pattern with a female which had a red head.
A Tomouemon inherited Gosuke’s excellent Kohaku and Yagozen and Buheita followed him.


Good white texture is the most important element in the case of teh Kohaku. It must not be yellowish or brownish, but should be snow white.

Dark but bright Hi is Preferable. There are two kinds of Hi one is base in yellowish brown. The other Hi is darker and does not fade away easily, but is unrefinde. It is hard to get the latter Hi, btu it does not go off so easily. The Hi is extremely refined. It is also important that Hi should be uniform. Discolored parts should not exist on Hi patches.

Edges of Hi patches should be clear, but they are usually blurred on the first half of a body. The blurred parts are Hi scales which are seen through the skin, It is one of the points for appreciation. The edges on the latter half of a body are clearer than the first ones.

Hi markings should spread all over the body. It is basically necessary that they are well-balanced on the both sides of the spine. An unilateral pattern is not desirable. Bigh Hi markings are much better than small ones.

Any koi is worthy of being appreciated, if it has a charming point in spite of all its defects.

Head Region
Hi on the head is indispensable. Even if a koi had a beautiful pattern on the body, it is worthless without head Hi and called bald head contemptuously Fig. 4-1 bald head kohaku

The head Hi of Fig. 4-2 tancho kohaku

are ideal. The head Hi should not spread over eyes, jaws or cheeks, but it should reach to the nose or at least to the eyes.
Recently a unique shaped head Hi is preferred to typical round one. The head Hi reaching to the mouth is called “Hanatsuki” Fig 4-3 Hanatsuki kohaku

and the one spreading all over the face is Menkaburi Fig 4-4 Menkaburi kohaku

Both are disliked due to lack of refinement.
A red marking on the lips is named “Kuchibeni Lipstick Figh 4-5 As Fig 4-6 show a koi with a big head Hi

different types of kohaku Step-type

There are some kohakus with step type patterns;

two step type (Fig  4-11) Two steps kohaku

three-step type (Fig 4-12) Two steps kohaku

and four ste type (Fig 13)four step kohaku


different types of Kohaku Most patterns of the step type are well-balanced and highly appreciated.

Straight Hi

It is a Kohaku with a Hi patch which spreads unwanted from the head to the tail region.

Lighting Hi

It is is a Kohaku with a lighting shaped continuous pattern (Fig 4-14)Lighting Hi

Gotenzakura Cherry blossoms of a castle

It is a Kohaku with a pattern of clusters of dapples which line symmetrically on both sides of the spine ( Fig 4-15)Gotenzakura Cherry blossoms of a castle


Doitsu Kohaku Napoleon

It is a Doitsu Kohaku with a pattern like Napoleon’s hat (Fig 4-16)Doitsu Kohaku Napoleon


A pattern with red scales with gold trimmings of a dappled pattern, Gotenzakura is called Kinzakura A koi with this pattern is highly esteemed but very rare.


Sometimes many silver bumps appear on the head They are called Fuji They are beautiful, but disappear after about the age of two.

Shiromuji Plain white and Akamuji Plain red

Both belong to the Kohaku family They do not have any pattern. The Shiromuji is a plain white koi which is thrown away at the first culling. The Akamuji is a plain red koi which has the same destiny as the shiromuji It is genetically called Higoi Particularly dark Higoi is a Benigoi or Hiaka Its fins are red too. A Higo which white fins is called Aka Hajiro

Tancho Kohaku (Fig 4-10)tancho kohaku

Kanoko Kohaku Kawarimono (Fig 4-17)Kanoko Kohaku Kawarimono

Platinum Kohaku Hikarimonyo

Kingingrin Kohaku kinginrin


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