North Idaho Koi Keepers

Members Ponds
Friendship Awards
May 2015 Workshop - ZNA
May 2013 Workshop with Rich Squires
2012 Sakai Seminar in Idaho
Koi Growout Project 2009
Upcoming Events
For Sale/Trade
Hall Of Fame
Club News
Sakai 700-1400 Special
Awards to Members
Tips & Other Good Ideas
Japanese Koi Terms
News from Other Clubs
Club Photo Album
Club Background
Website Links
Contact Us
Membership Form
Club History
By Laws



(Taisho Sanshoku)


During the early 1900’s, a new variety of koi was created by the addition of sumi (black) markings to the basic Kohaku patterns of red and white.  This new variety was named Taisho Sanke and is also referred to as simply Sanke.  The positioning of the sumi accentuates the beauty of the overall pattern.  The difference between the Sanke and the Showa is that the Sanke has a white base with red and black markings while the Showa has a black base with red and white markings.  This is evident in the fins, the Sanke has predominately white fins with Houki Zumi (black stripe or streaking, like a broom) where the Showa will have black in the fins often call motoguro.



Urushi Zumi  Best Sumi.  Expression of highest quality Sumi.  Urushi Zumi is Sumi that is shiny and has the depth of black lacquer.  Opposite terms would be Nabe Zumi, Susu Zumi and Funa Zumi.


Obi Zumi  Belt Sumi.  A shape of Sumi that is thin, long and square like an Obi (belt).  Several Sumi patches usually connect to create the pattern.  Used mainly to describe the Sumi in Taisho Sanshoku.  The pattern must cross the backbone and look like an Obi.  It would be perpendicular to Tate Zumi.


Kuragake  Saddle.  Term used to describe a pattern that crosses over the backbone and covers both sides of the body in the shape of horse’s saddle.  It is one of the most stable patterns.  It is usually used to describe a Hi pattern, but it could also describe a Sumi pattern.


Taisho Sanshoku  Proper name of the variety usually called Sanke.  Sanshoku means three colors.  While breeding Kohaku, Koi with black pigments suddenly appeared.  While the primary evaluation is still based on the Kohaku pattern, the variety was improved to have the added highlight of large, lacquer-black Sumi patches that these Koi are known for today.


Doka Zumi  Large Sumi.  Also called Oh Zumi.


Aka Sanke  Red Sanke.  Aka is a term meaning red.  A Taisho Sanshoku with a majority of Hi and very little Shiroji.  It is not a variety name, but rather a description.  Although the lack of Shiroji makes the koi appear less dignified, it projects a dynamic and powerful image.  There are many  distinguished Aka Sanke with high quality Hi.


Jinbei Sanshoku  Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke) bred by Jinbei.  It is highly respected and established lineage, as is Matsunosuke.


Kuchibeni  Lipstick.  Hi on the lips.  Because it looks like lipstick, it can be very charming.


Seware  Dividing the back.  A Hi pattern that has most of the Hi on the side with wide Shiroji on the back.  A Hi pattern that looks as if it were dividing the Koi’s back.


Tezumi  Sumi in the pectoral fins.  While Sumi can cover any part of the fins, it is considered ideal that Tezumi appear as Motoguro in the Kumonrryo, Shiro Utsuri, and Showa.  Some varieties would ideally have Motoaka, the rest (except those of solid color) would ideally have white pectoral fins without Tezumi.


Menshiro  White face.  Indicates that both gill covers are white.  Clean face that has no Hi on the gill covers.  It is particularly important in the Kohaku variety, but it is not an absolute necessity.  Even Menkaburi can be judged an acceptable pattern when it is supported with other outstanding features.


Teri  Skin shine.  Koi produce a secretion called the slime coat on the surface of the body to protect the skin.  Healthy Koi produce a lot of this secretion and it creates a shine over the body.  Unhealthy Koi produces less secretion and thus the skin does not have sheen.  This sheen is called Teri.


Tsubo Zumi  Critical Sumi.  Sumi that appears in a critical area that balances the pattern.  May or may not appear in the Shiroji.


Kata Moyo  A one-sided pattern.  The term is used to describe an unbalanced Hi pattern, where the center of balance seems to lean towards the left or the right.  This is not used when the pattern is one-sided on the first half or the second half.


Shita Zumi  Sumi beneath.  Sumi that appears to be hiding below the surface of the Shiroji.  Sumi that is barely visible under the surface of the scales.  Shita Zumi could emerge or disappear.  Kage Zumi refers to Sumi that has started to emerge and is seen on the skin as a shadow.


Keitou  Bloodline.  Generations of Nishikigoi that have been produced by a single breeder to develop specific traits that are handed down to successive generations.  Some example are: Sensuke Kohaku and Jinbei Sanke.  The breeder name is usually given as part of the bloodline.  A single bloodline is profound enough to make a topic for an entire book.


Shiagari  Finish.  Koi become more beautiful or less beautiful as time goes by.  If a koi finishes well and beautiful, we say it has good Shiagari.  If a koi does not finish well, then we say it has poor Shiagare.


Tate Hi  Long Hi.  Hi plate that goes from the mouth towards the tail.  Because there is no Maki, it lacks in power.  A Hi Plate that crosses over the backbone and has Maki is called Kuragake.  Also referred to as “Vertical Hi”


Tasukigake  Literally a cord that runs diagonally across the back to hold up the sleeves of a kimono.  Describes a pattern that crosses the back diagonally.  It is not called Tasukigake when the pattern crosses the back in a straight line (but it may then be Obi Sumi).  If the Tasukigake is thin then it may also be Himo Zumi


Tejima  Striped Sumi.  Most often used to describe the pectoral fins of Taisho Sanshoku.  Also called Houki (broom) Zumi.  It also used to be called Rentaiki (means flag of regiment) because it looked like the flag of the old navy of Japan.  It is said that a few Tejima in Sanke makes the body pattern more stable.


Kaku Zumi  Square Sumi.  Round Sumi is called Maru Zumi.  Kake Zumi appears in bloodlines such as Torazo Sanke or Jinbei Sanke.  This is a term used to  describe Taisho Sanshoku, but is can also be used to describe the Sumi of Showa Sanshoku.


Tome Sumi  Stop Sumi.  Tome means “stop”.  A Sumi patch that ends in the tail section, or Sumi creating the Odome of Sanke or Showa.  Tome Sumi is very important, and much more valuable that Hi in the Odome.


Tsukitsuke  Hi pattern that runs over the head and touches the nose.  Has less Hi than a Menkabure (or Zukinkaburi) pattern where the Hi covers the head.


Gin Me  Silver eyes.  White rimmed eyes seen in Kohaku.  If the Koi has black eyes (Kuro Me), it is likely to be a Sanke or Showa.


Oh Zumi  Relatively large Sumi on the body.  Also called Doka Zumi.


Inazuma  Lightning.  Term used to describe the shape of the Hi  Plate.  The pattern runs zigzag like lightning over the body.  An Inazuma pattern is highly valued because it alternately reveals the Shiroji.


Houki Zumi  Broom Sumi.  Houki means “broom”.  Sumi that looks like it was swept with a broom.  Striped Sumi pattern seen on the pectoral fins or tail fin of Taisho Sanshoku.  Also called Hashiri Zumi (“running” Sumi) or Jejima (Hand striped”).  A few light stripes are desirable.  Extremely strong stripes are not as favored.


Kasane Zumi  Piled-up Sumi.  Kasane literally means “to pile up”.  Sumi that is riding over or overlapping  the Hi.  Also called Nose (Nose means “to Ride”) Zumi.  Often simply called Kasane.  Sumi on the Hi plate is not deeply rooted to the ground (as is Sumi in the Shirjoi), and is thus not stable and can move as the Koi Grows.  Dasane Zumi of Taisho Sanshoku can disappear.


Hasami Zumi  Sumi Between.  Sumi between the Hi plates.  Term used to describe Sumi on Taisho Sankshoku.  Hasami Sumi is located the narrow Shiroji areas rather than appearing in the Hi plates.


Iroage  Color enhancement.  Because Nishikigoi can not create the red pigments within their bodies, it is necessary to feed food with carotene to maintain the red coloration in Koi that have Hi plates.  You can say the “Koi need Iroage” and it would mean that the Koi needs to increase its color or that is should be fed color-enhancing food.


Fukurin  Scale Wrap.  It is the cuticle of the skin which appears as a line drawn in a ring around a scale.  This name was taken from the term Fuku (meaning to “cover” or  “wrap”) and Rin  (meaning “scale”).  Fukurin is most noticeable in Hikarimono, and was originally thought to occur only in metallic varieties because it was harder to see in other varieties.  Fukurin is now also seen in large sized Kohaku and Taisho Sanshoku.

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter supporting content here