Spring 2018 – Day Five

Today is the Dainichi auction. Many hobbyists and dealers in attendance from all corners of the globe ready to battle it out for the Koi they want.

The auctions are always filled with mixed emotions and this was to be no different.

Arriving just before 9am, we had around 45 minutes to view all of the koi to be auctioned. Crossing off Koi on my shortlist due to issues, and making note of new ones that were good in the flesh. My list was made really quite quickly, it turns out there wasn’t that many I was happy with. Of course some of the “Special” auction fish are amazing, but the ones that are really good that tick the boxes go for huge sums of money. These are worth viewing, but don’t make the shortlist for realistic purchases.

Before lunch time we had managed to bag a handful of really nice Koi. Missing out on numerous Koi by what may have been only a few bids more we had to be strict with what realistically these Koi would be worth back home as a Tosai, Nisai and Sansai as they grew and aged. On two occasions, I found myself bidding against Kentaro from Sakai Fish Farm, Odakan, and even Shigeru Dainichi bidding on his own Koi on behalf of customers. Needless to say, my finger went down when I realised who wanted the koi. It is great fun watching these guys all bid against one another, the mind games, tricks and hand gestures they make towards each other is very entertaining.


An hour or so after lunch we decided to leave and gave our bids to another member of our party to bid on our behalf. I think there were only 2 others I was after so to stay for another 3 hours, it didn’t make sense to hang around. It turns out they went for a great deal more than I had anticipated.

Koi purchased at the Dainichi Auction

Happy with the 5 purchases, all really solid strong Koi that I’m sure will do well back home. Good structures for growing and overall very nice quality.

Walking across the road to see Katsuyuki-san of Hoshikin Koi Farm we viewed numerous ponds of Tosai for sale. Last Spring we had huge success with the Tosai from Hoshikin grown on at the shop, and those that customers bought. A big fan of his Kohaku in particular, we have also had a handful of beautiful Showas. We liked the look of three ponds in particular, one with Kohaku in, one with Showa and another pond which was mixed. The mixed pond were his Tategoi and over 40cm as Tosai. Many of them looked incredible. We arranged an appointment bright and early on Wednesday morning to select from the two ponds, with hope we may dip into his Tategoi pond. You never know!


Jumping in the car we went into the mountains. Visiting Yagenji we sat down and caught up with Daisuke. A very successful year for the Yagenji team. Nearly all of their Nisai were sold out, and many many larger Koi also sold. 

As ever the fish house was cool and tranquil. The water being gin clear and undisturbed by air turbulence. The sun breaching through the windows causing clear cut Koi silhouettes on the base of the pond. With a sweet coffee in hand, it’s always a very relaxing place to be especially after the mayhem at Dainichi only an hour previous.


At the top of the hillside we visited Kanno. In search of Nisai Female Goshiki, I scooped two in the bowl. Both with lovely patterns, nice beni and exquisite robing. We sent videos onto Kanno for him to price them up. Later this evening he will bowl them and see if they are male or female. Only the two Koi of interest at Kanno really, we will wait to see what he comes back with.

Quite late in the day now, we drove back to the hotel. Only 5 Koi from the day, but a good amount of groundwork put in. Hopefully we score big at Hoshikin on Wednesday.

Tomorrow we stay in the hills, Matsunosuke and Maruhiro among others no doubt. 

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