Kohaku Koi – white koi with red markings.
The oldest colour variety of Koi, originating from China and recognised as the easiest koi to not only look at but to care for.
There are many different varieties of the Kohaku koi, some are all white with red lips, some with a red stomach, whilst some may have only red markings on their gill plates.
If you are looking for a show quality Kohaku koi, then you need the red to be a deep red (Hi) with the white being a real snow white.
The pattern of the red is also very important if you are looking for a high-quality koi, the main thing to comprehend is that the red pattern should be beautiful but also meaningful.
There are Japanese names for all kinds of different patterns, namely Komoyo and Omoyo.
Komoyo are Kohaku that have small red (hi) markings
Omoyo are Kohaku that have large red (hi) markings
Omoyo are deemed the more valuable of the two with the main reason being that the large red markings on a young koi will grow, developing a more balanced look and in turn more meaningful.
Three or four separate markings of red (hi) on a Kohaku koi are known as steps, this is because of the Japanese symbolism that is put on these markings, indicating the steps that are put on the ground to get to a house without getting dirt on your shoes.
A jagged rather than straight continuous red (hi) pattern is known as Inazuma, basically meaning lightening shape.
One of the most valuable Kohaku is the “Tancho” , this is a pure white bodied koi that has only one red spot on its head. They must be very very white and the red (hi) extremely intense in colour and almost circular in pattern.
Taking all the above into consideration when looking for your perfect Kohaku koi is important but you must also remember to take a look at the physical aspect of the koi too, such as the shape of its head and the way that it swims.