277
12
3

錦鯉

Nishikigoi

Ornamental nishikigoi (“brocaded” carp) swim serenely around a large tank. Their names highlight their distinctive colors. Red-and-white Kohaku evokes the Hinomaru (Japanese flag). Taisho Sanshoku and Showa Sanshoku feature black, red, and white spots. Yamabuki Kogane shimmers like gold.

Developed in Japan, nishikigoi are a unique type of domesticated koi bred for decorative enjoyment and raised with aquafarming. This culture — which pays meticulous attention to colors and patterns — originated in an old Yamakoshi village in Niigata Prefecture during the 19th century. Nishikigoi were first exhibited at the Tokyo Expo in 1914, sparking popular interest and creation of many varieties that Japanese people know and love.

Recently, sophisticated transportation enables nishikigoi export to overseas countries. Nishikigoi have become status symbols of affluence even among enthusiasts outside Japan, and are gradually spreading around the globe.

Nishikigoi Farm Matsuda is a koi farm that was moved to Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, following the Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake in 2004. Now recovered from immense damage due to the quake, this farm raises about 40,000 carp. Matsuo Matsuda, a fourth generation nishikigoi farmer, explains that the most important condition for raising nishikigoi is aesthetic appreciation of their beauty.

Prices of nishikigoi vary greatly, depending on patterns, body size, and shape. Low-priced nishikigoi can start from 5,000 yen (approx. USD $48) while expensive ones sometimes cost more than 20 million yen (approx. USD $192,000). Marketable colors and patterns are traditionally fixed in Japan. However, unconventional colors and patterns sometimes become popular outside Japan. Valuable nishikigoi varieties are now diversified.

Note: Exchange rate USD $1 = JP Yen ¥104

Lately, nishikigoi can even be purchased via the Internet. However, the greatest pleasure of nishikigoi shopping is to visit nishikigoi farms and talk to farmers like Mr. Matsuda when purchasing. Of course, knowledge enhances enjoyment of nishikigoi. But sharing the passion of farmers for their nishikigoi deepens your affection for nishikigoi.

Note: Products shown in this article are not available in Mitsukoshi or Isetan.

Matsuda Koi Farm
http://www.koikoimatsuda.jp/en/

Kimono
着物
Elevator attendants
エレベーターアテンダント
Japanese sake
日本酒
Department store basement
デパ地下
Public bathhouse
銭湯
High-tech toilet
ハイテクトイレ
Jinrikisha(Rickshaw)
人力車
Mt. Fuji
富士山
Scramble crossing
スクランブル交差点
Asakusa
浅草
Shinjuku
新宿
Tokyo Sky Tree
東京スカイツリー
Shuri Castle
首里城
Umi-budoh
海ぶどう
Haarii
ハーリー
International Avenue
国際通り
China
Kuroko's Basketball/ Magi
Thailand
Summer Wars
Italy
One Piece
Japan
Kinnikuman
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
I am your Yuzen
友禅の色
Kyoto Proverbs
Aburi-mochi
あぶり餅
Fushimi Inari Taisha
伏見稲荷大社
ANIME PILGRIMAGE
a quest to visit locations relating to stories and characters
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
NEXT GENERATION
TOYOTA x STUDIO4°C collaboration begins a new PES Project called “Next Generation”
KAISEKI
懐石
TEMPURA
天婦羅
WHISKY
ウイスキー
RICE CAKES
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
MANABU IKEDA
YAYOI KUSAMA
Nerhol
MENBURYU
SANJA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
KYUDO
弓道
KARATEDO
空手
KENDO
剣道
JUDO
柔道
KACCHU-SHI
甲冑師
SENSHOKU-KA
染織家
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター
SUKIYA-DAIKU
数寄屋大工