Wasting no time at breakfast we had a quick bite to eat and we were soon our way to our first breeder of the day. The buying had now started and we were soon moving through the gears.
First up Maruhiro Koi Farm. Since visiting Maruhiro for the first time 2 years ago, we’ve become very fond of the farm. The Koi are great, the range of variety and price are excellent and we always have a laugh with Hironori Hirasawa, especially when negotiating!
From previous blogs, I’m sure most of you know that Maruhiros Koi ponds are on different levels and command different prices. In the lower ponds you always have the cheapest Koi, the mid level are big Nisai and Sansai of very good quality, the top level is the famous round tiled pond which contains some of the best examples of the given varieties in the whole of Japan which can command millions of yen.
Starting in the mid level we bowled numerous Koi, very nice Sansai up to 70cm, and Nisai up to 60cm. Many varieties went into the bowl. We struggled to find any Ki Utsuri of merit, a shame as we had a handful of customer orders for them. As always, we managed to find some excellent fish, Gin Rin Tancho, Hi Utsuri and a blinding Ki Matsuba at 67cm! Very pleased with the fish, we still wanted to fulfill our Ki Utsuri goal. Upon asking Hironori for Ki Utsuri, he took us up to the round pond and then out the back to ponds that we haven’t seen before. Immediately we knew this was going to be his Tategoi ponds, and sure enough it was. Hironori-san out of nowhere bowled half a dozen Ki Utsuri, all around 45-50cm. The colour was down due to the lack of sunlight but the patterns, body shapes and Sumi were all very nice. Narrowing it down to just one, we finalised a price for all of the Koi picked so far. As we were packing up and getting on our way, Maruhiro went back into the back ponds and scooped up one more Koi for us.
A ridiculous bodied Ki Utsuri, only Nisai yet it was 61cm. A big Nisai for Niigata’s standards, and even more so for Ki Utsuri. The quality was unbelievable and hands down the best Ki Utsuri we’ve seen to date. The body was extremely imposing, it dwarfed every other Ki Utsuri at the farm (relative to size). The sumi held well and the Ki was rich and vibrant. We had to have it!
Very happy with our purchases, photos and videos were done. A quick coffee before we left and phone-calls were made to see who would be our next port of call.
Showa from Sekiguchi was on the hit list today, but while we were in the area Satoshi Tanaka was of interest. Having never bought there before we knew his Kin Showa and Kujaku were highly sought after. We’ve been to the farm before, yet nothing has ever really grabbed my attention…other than the sold koi!
One Koi in particular caught my eye immediately, and was duly bowled. A beautiful Kin Showa, 38cm, Nisai and Female. Very bright metallic lustre, great colour and good sumi for a Kin Showa. It really was a stand out fish at Tanaka, another gem was a Gin gin Showa that was one of only a few. Alongside these, here are some other purchases made, including a very wacky Shusui variant, can you name the specific variety ?
Thanking Tanaka for his time, we scooted off to Sekiguchi Koi Farm. Famous for his Showa we were really in for a treat. We only had 30 minutes or so here, as we had to make it back into Yamakoshi to make our Nisai mud pond harvest at Yamamatsu Koi Farm.
The first Female Nisai pond we viewed, Masayuki told us the price range. Pleasantly surprised I grabbed a net and we were soon bowling some beautiful Nisai Female Showas. Seriously good specimens here, especially for the money. This type of Koi at other Showa breeders would command considerably higher prices. Having bowled up 10 or so fish, we had to narrow it down to make shipping sensible. We could have had plenty more! Seeing them in the bowl, we were really quite surprised at how good they really were for the money. I was thinking I could spend all day here selecting!
Sekiguchi has some incredible specimens, I really do love the beni on his Showa. More often than not, in Showa you can find small areas of Beni that aren’t quite on par with the rest of the fish. Generally speaking Sekiguchi ones are consistently rich in colour and are refined. That goes for the sumi too, sumi that sits on the white ground as well as the red ground being equally as bold as one another. The bodies all bode well for the future, some are longer and more streamlined than others, while others already have thicker shapes yet are all in proportion and make for an imposing fish. Both body types are quite typical of Sekiguchi. Very pleased with these!
Rushing off from Sekiguchi, we went up into the mountains. Sakai (Yamamatsu) had prepared our mud pond for harvest. Here we have 15 Koi that we purchased last Spring as Tosai, of which can be found in the Q Collection section of the website. The light was fading fast so the team had to be quick. A very good sized mud pond for Tosai, we had mixed emotions while the team were seine netting the pond. We could see a few of the Koi on the surface, but it wasn’t until the fish were in a few inches of water by the bank were we certain that most had made it out alive.
15 out of 15 fish came out the mud pond, very lucky! There was one downside though, one had really bashed itself, somehow in the pond and wasn’t looking in a good way.. Thankfully Sakai said he would replace it for us, result! So 14 fish all healthy, plus 1 more to replace. Pretty good going.
Loading up the truck, we went back to the farm to get a closer look at the koi, measure them and discuss their progress. The sun had now fallen behind the mountains so getting the camera out was pointless. We aim to go back later in the week to photo and video them. Most went into the pond at 26-29cm, they all measured between 45-51cm. Cracking result!
P.S. Matsunosuke Gin at it’s finest!
Here are some pictures from the harvest.