Day IV – Otsuka Masterclass


Our last stop of the day was Otsuka. The previous day we managed to secure a serious quality Aka Matsuba. Having scouted out the koi we wanted to look at we pointed out a number of koi for Otsuka to bowl for us. A mixture of male and female Asagi were on the hit list. Otsuka is famed for the Monube bloodline Asagi which has produced some of the best Asagi ever seen in Japan. Typically they start off relatively unrefined and the Beni increases with age. The trademark head shape of Monube koi is easily recognisable. The long rectangle shape, with a broad mouth and rounded off cheeks. Below is Otsuka-san telling us about the Monube bloodline and he thought this particular koi showed typical characteristics of the bloodline.


Otsuka produce award winning Asagi  at Japanese shows year on year. Many of them actually develop a unique Kado Gin. Gin contained within the outer of edge of the scale which develops with age. Recent show winning Otsuka Asagi can be seen below (photos taken from magazines so they are enhanced)

We sorted through the koi in the bowl and asked Otsuka the big question. A little on the pricey side we took a few minutes more looking in the pond to see if we could find anything else in pond to use as a negotiating tool ! We knew one of the Asagi we had in the bowl was a large proportion of the price given so we tried our luck looking at more koi to get a slightly better price.

Two beautiful yet very different Aka Matsuba were bowled up, Sansai, Female and around the 60cm mark. The one with out the reticulation is certainly one to watch for the future,  a great long term prospect. They had small rubs on their heads from transportation but these will colour up relatively quickly.

We negotiated on price for the Asagi and two Matsuba’s in the bowl. Coming to an understanding we settled prices and shook hands.

6 cracking Asagi, a mixture of males and females. This included one of his best Asagi and we did well to twist his arm for it.This one being individually videoed it’s very interesting to see the transition it’s taking, you can see areas where the refinement of the reticulation is increasing, as well as the Kado Gin appearing. Another one I individually videoed was an excellent Kado Gin Male, another interesting koi with a distinct lack of beni on the underside. There are signs of it and Otsuka-san explained this is very typical of Males from the Monube bloodline. Another exciting koi to watch develop.


2 wonderful Aka Matsuba. We must have a thing for Aka Matsuba’s at the moment, as now we have purchased 4 on the trip, not small ones either ! Look out for the photos of both the Asagi and Matsuba on the website/facebook and here over the coming days.

Now getting dark, we asked Otsuka-san if he could net up our Chagoi for us to have a closer look at it. Given the depth of the pond it is quite hard to get a sense of scale. Otsuka-san explained he would prefer to bowl it in the actual pond rather than just bringing it up in a net.

Bowling the Chagoi we were blown away. 96cm of simplistic beauty.

The perfect beast.

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