Male Ueno Showa

This is still a young koi at only 19 months old so the qualities present still need time to mature and I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you what I see in this koi and why from my experience I believe it is safe to say this will be a very high quality koi in future.

Body Shape

Koi appreciation should always start with the body shape and this koi has to be judged slightly differently being male. In recent years the body shape of males has made huge strides forward and its now common place to see mature males with bigger bodies than females. Looking at the current body shape it is clear that there is still a lot of volume to come, the environment where this has been growing is not conducive to developing body volume. Once given a pond with more surface area the volume will come quickly along with plenty more length given that it has grown 13cm in the past 6 months.


Skin Quality

The skin quality along with the pattern are what I feel takes this from being a good koi to an exceptional one. Starting with the shiroji it is bright with a strong lustre and I would expect this to remain looking youthful for a longtime to come. The head is currently looking a bit creamy / yellowish but this is to be expected at this stage, typically high quality thick skin can appear to be this colour when younger as the skin is at its thickest on the head. It could be expected that the head will never become “pure white” due to it being male but it will certainly improve a great deal from where it is at the moment.

Now for the sumi which is only just beginning to emerge but it’s future quality can be gauged from two things. First of all, by looking at the quality in the area’s where it has fully developed and as you can see from that it’s very good. The second is knowing the bloodline and parent koi because with this type of sumi from Ueno Showa its future is quite predictable and it will just be a matter of time (being a few years) before it consolidates to form solid blocks of sumi.

So that now brings us to the beni which really is of the highest level and still has plenty of room to progress and become even better. Even for a young fish the beni is very thick and there is still a huge amount of pigment cells concentrated in the middle of the scales. Both the kiwa and sashi also have to improve further but are in a very good position for the age and size of the fish. Within two years at most both of these elements will have refined a great deal and combined with the then thicker beni it will be something special.


Overall the pattern potential for this fish is good, when all of the sumi comes up the overall balance will be nice. The sumi is nicely positioned throughout the body and the beni coverage is broad enough that the pattern will remain strong as the body gains more volume. There is still a lot of sumi to develop on the head so big change can be expected there and more often than not when the sumi comes on the head it drastically alters the appearance of the whole fish. The montoguro is gradually expanding further into the pectoral fins which will add more balance and again change the overall appearance. Without doubt it’s an interesting pattern and combined with all the other qualities this koi is the complete package.


Here is the koi a couple of months ago.



Written by Ricky Stoddart of Koi Wholesale and


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