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The Name and Definition of "Nishikigoi"

The Name and Definition of Nishikigoi

The definition of the name "Nishikigoi" and its origin Nishikigoi was first called by its name in 1918 (Taisho 7). In that year, a Taisho Sanshoku was born in Takezawa village, Niigata. The chief officer of the fishery section of the Niigata municipal government, Kei Abe, cried out in admiration for the beauty of the koi. "This is a very Nishikigoi!" The Japanese word "nishiki" means brocade, a fine dress, and a splendor of colors. It is said that this was the first time the name Nishikigoi was used.

Nishikigoi is a common name for the fish, and it has nothing to do with the classification of ichthyology. Whether they are black carp (Magoi) or Doitsugoi, any carp that are worthy of appreciation can be called Nishikigoi. In other words, Nishikigoi can be defined as inedible carp that have admirable figure, markings or colors. The dean of the Nagoya Women’s College, Kimiaki Koshihara, praised Nishikigoi as a "living jewel". This is the very qualifier used to express the beauty of Nishikigoi. Even today it is often used in the mass media.

In December of 1968 (Showa 43), the 1st All Japan Combined Nishikigoi Show was held at Hotel Otani in Tokyo. Hideo Miya used the name "Kokugyo" (national fish) for the first time. This honor was given after the consideration of Nishikigoi as being a pure domestic product.

Originally, Magoi (black carp) mutated into Nishikigoi. The farmers of Nijumura village in Echigo (currently Niigata) repeatedly improved on some mutant carp that had certain colors and markings on the fish body. It can be said that the work was done as a pure Japanese "peasant art."

By the way, Doitsugoi was an improved form of edible carp imported from Germany. Many varieties of Doitsugoi were produced in Japan by crossing with Asagi. It is a matter of course, those Doitsugoi also fall under the category of Nishikigoi.

Current Nishikigoi can be defined as ornamental carp that have beautiful colored markings on the spindle-shaped heroic body peculiar to Nishikigoi as represented by the triumvirate of Nishikigoi, Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku and Showa Sanshoku. Not only some recently improved Ogon and Doitsugoi, some older types of koi such as Asagi and Higoi, moreover, some black carp such as Karasugoi whose figure and beautiful row of scales are worthy of appreciation, are called by the name of Nishikigoi. Plainly speaking, beautiful, inedible carp, are all Nishikigoi.