Name That Fish! - Varieties of Koi

The varieties & variations of Koi can be overwhelming. Just trying to pronounce them can be challenging so here is a list of the most popular Koi to help you Name That Fish!

1. Kohaku
Kohaku is the oldest and most well known variety of Koi. They have a solid white base with overlaid red patterns. A bright, blemish-free white with deep vibrant red evenly distributed along the body is ideal.
Tasho Sanke
2. Tasho Sanke
Sanke is basically a Kohaku with some black thrown in. A balanced pattern is key. Variations of Sanke include Doitsu Sanke, Maruten Sanke, Tancho Sanke and Gin Rin Sanke.
Showa Sanshoku
3. Showa Sanshoku
Showa can easily be confused with Sanke. In Showa the black patterns wrap all the way around the body instead of just on the top. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two are by the patterns on their head. Showa will have black patterns on their head while Sanke will not. The red, white and black should be balanced throughout the body evenly, with crisp clean edges between each color.
4. Tancho
Tancho is a very popular variation of Kohaku, in which the only red pattern appears as a single red circle on the head. The symmetrical placement of the Tancho mark determines the quality of this much sought after Koi. Tancho are highly regarded in the Japanese Koi industry for their resemblance to the Red Crowned Crane and the Japanese flag.
Shiro Utsuri
5. Shiro Utsuri
Shiro Utsuri are Koi with a black base overlain by areas of white. A high quality Shiro Utsuri will combine clean white patterns with a deep lacquer-like black. A split head of both black and white is also an important requirement for a top quality specimen.
Hi Utsuri
6. Hi Utsuri
Hi Utsuri combine the Lacquer-Black base color with patterns of deep red or orange. Red Hi Utsuri are superior to orange. Many will display a dull orange pattern at a young age which may then develop into a brighter and more desirable red pattern as the Koi grows and matures.
Ki Utsuri
7. Ki Utsuri
Ki Utsuri by far the rarest type of Utsuri combined patterns of yellow over a Lacquer rich black body. Ki Utsuri are judged by the same criteria as Shiro and Hi Utsuri.
8. Asagi
Asagi have a blue net like pattern on their back with red or orange on their underside, gill plates, fins and body. The pattern travels up as the Koi age. The best Asagi, however, donot have a red pattern that extends above the lateral line. Variations of Asagi include Gin Rin Asagi and Hi Asagi.
9. Shusui
Shusui are the scale-less (Doitsu) version of Asagi. The single row of scales along the dorsal line are what distinguishes it from an Asagi. Variations of Shusui include Gin Rin, Shusui and Hi Shusai.
10 Matsuba
Matsuba combine a solid, metallic colored base with a black net pattern. The base color can vary. Ki Mtsuba have a yellow base color and Aka Matsuba have a red base.
Platinum Ogon
11. Platinum Ogon, also known as Purachina Ogon are solid metallic-white Koi. A clear white head and unblemished white body are crucial to the quality of this Koi.
Yamabuki Ogon
12. Yamabuki Ogon
Yamabuki Ogon have a solid metallic-yellow color. Ideally they should have a clean unblemished head and body. Variations include Gion Rin, Yamabuki, Ogon and Doitsu Yamabuhi Ogon.
13. Kujaku
Kujaku are Koi with a solid white base accented by black edging on each individual scale along with patterns of red, orange and yellow. Variations include Doitsu Kujaku, Tancho Kujaku Maruten Kujaku.
14. Hariwake
Hariwake have a solid metallic white base with vibrant patterns of yellow and orange. Hariwake with a bright yellow pattern are commonly referred to as Lemon Hariwake. Variations of Hariwake include Toncho Hariwake, Gin Rin Hariwake and Doitsu Hariwake.
15. Kikusui
Kikushi are scale-less and white with patterns of orange and yellow. Metallic colors of Haiwake are also present in Kikusui.
16 Kumonryu are scale-less with grey or white combined with black patterns. The interesting thing about these Koi are that they will completely change their pattern many times throughout their life. They can range from solid black to solid white or any possible combination in between.
Beni Kumonryu
17. Beni Kumonryu
Beni Kumonryu are just like Kumonryu but with the addition of another color, red.
18. Chagoi
Chagoi are solid colored brown or bronze with a subtle net pattern. Chagoi are some of the most friendly and docile Koi available, which makes near perfect hand feeding.
19. Soragoi
Similar to Clagoi, Soragoi are grey or silver with a subtle net pattern. Friendly and docile they will be among the first to hand feed.
Ochiba Shigure
20. Ochiba Shigure
Ochiba Shigure commonly referred to as Ochiba, Ochiba Shigure have the same brown/bronze of Shagoi with the silver/gray markings of Soragoi. Ochiba Shigure translates as “Autumn leaves falling on water”.
21. Goromo
In essence, Goromo are a Kohaku with blue or black edging added to each red scale. There are three sub types: Budo Goromo which have a blue edging outside of the scales that create a grape like cluster effect. Ai Goromo have blue edging only on the inside of the red scales. Sumi Goromo have black edging on the scales that can make the patterns appear almost totally black.
22. Goshiki
Goshiki have a solid white base with black and blue edging and red and black patters overlaying the white with some black and blue at the base. Goshiki Translates as “Five colors”.
23. Kikokuiryu
Kikokuryu are scale-less (Doitsu) with a white base combined with area of black inside a single row of scales along the back outside of the row and on the head around the eys and nose. Kikokuryu are commonly thoughyt to be metallic versions Kumonryu.
Kin Kikokuryu
24. Kin Kikokuryu
Kinkikokuryu have orange or yellow with black and white patterns of Kikokuryu and are the newest variety of Koi in the industry.

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