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Nishikigoi Terms





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This Glossary is Koi, Plant and all things relating to the Pond.


Pronunciation Guide:

A - pronounced ah, as in paw or draw EI - pronounced aye, as in bay, play
E - pronounced eh, as in spend or friend OI - pronounced oye, as in toy, boy
I - pronounced ee, as in bee, he, tree OA - pronounced oh ah, as in boa
O- pronounced oh, as in tow, oak OO - pronounced oo, as in who, boo
U - pronounced uu, as in moo, who UI - pronounced wee, as in tree, bee
R - sometimes pronounced like the letter "d" JI - pronounced gee, as in bungi
AI - pronounced eye, as in pie, fly JY - pronounced jah, as in draw, jaw
AO - pronounced ah oh RYU - pronounced droo, as in Andrew



Word(Pronunciation)Meaning
Hachi(ha' chee)Japanese term for Head. Described in many terms such as Ban (meaning plate), Kao (face), and Men (face). The head is often considered the most striking and important part of Nishikigoi. The pattern on the head, and the clarity of its Shiroji are especially important.
Hachi Hi (HAH chee hee) An early ancestor of the modern Kohaku.
Hachiware (HAH chee WAH reh) (ha' chee wa reh)Divided Head. Hachi means "head," Ware means "dividing." Sumi pattern that divides the head, seen on Shiro Utsuri; Showa, Kin Showa and other Utsuri. Also called Menware. Men means "face," but in Koi, both "head" and "face" refer to the same thing, and are thus used interchangeably. Sumi of the head that appears on the Utsurimono family, such as Showa. Good Hachiware runs from the mouth to the shoulder in an Inazuma pattern, and makes the Koi's pattern appear to be more dynamic.
Hachizumi (HAH chee ZOO mee) A sumi (black) pattern that runs diagonally across the head.
Hada (hah dah) Japanese term for Skin.
Hageru (HAH geh roo) No blurring on the head (relates to metallic varieties particularly).
Hageshiro (HAH geh SHEE row) (ha geh' she row) A black koi with white on the head and on the tail and pectoral fin tips.
Hagoromo A variety of aigoromo.
Hajiro (hah GEE row) (ha jee' row)koi fish pictures Black scaled Koi with white or white tipped pectoral fins and a white belly. A Hageshiro is a Hajiro with a white head. Doitsu Yotsushiro is a scaleless black Koi with 4 white parts: the nose, tail and both pectoral fins. Yotsu means 4, Shiro means white - thus a black Koi with 4 white parts, which is the basis for Kumonryu.
Hakamahaki (ha' kah mah hah kee)Koi wearing pants. Nishikigoi with a second half that has little Shiroji and is heavily covered in pattern. A Koi that appears heavy-looking , as if it were wearing pants. The opposite would be a Koi with little or no pattern on the second half, which is called Bongiri.
Haka Shita (HAH kah SHEE tah) Koi with an undesirable sagging abdomen.
Hana Shusui A variety of Shusui - also known as a 'flowery Shusui'
Hanagara Moyo (ha' nah gah rah moy' oh)Flower pattern. Hi pattern that looks like blooming flowers.
Hanako translates to ‘flower maiden’, referring to a red koi
Hanatsuki (hah NAHT SOO kee) Head hi extends down the nose.
Hanazumi (hah NAH ZOO mee) A black pattern (or spot) around or near the mouth and nose area.
Hana Shusui (hah NAH SHOO swee) A form of Shusui, also known as a flowery Shusui with round red markings on the sides (between the back scales and the lateral line) instead of parallel the 'line patches' down the sides or regular Shusui.
Hand Stripping Hand-stripping is a procedure by which the milt (sperm) and eggs are manually removed from the Koi rather than being shed naturally during spawning. Hand-stripping involves gently massaging the ventral parts of the fish to expel the eggs and sperm which are then mixed together in a container to facilitate fertilisation. Hand-stripping requires care and skill and can seriously damage adult Koi if performed incorrectly. Seek expert instruction before attempting this delicate procedure.
Hanzome Only part of scale covered in hi.
Hapas Small (typically 1-5m2), fixed, net enclosures sited in ponds. Usually pegged by a number of sticks/posts with the net strung between them. Often used in ponds in tropical areas for fry and broodstock. Enables cost effective method of control of broodstock and fry within large rearing ponds.
Hara (hah RAH) Abdominal area of a koi.
Harabote (ha' rab oh the)Fat Bodied. Body conformation is very important in judging Koi. The body conformation that allows the Koi to swim through the water without creating any pressure is considered ideal. A Koi that is too fat and has a big tummy is called Harabote and is not desirable.
Hariwake (ha' ree wah key)koi fish pictures Hikarimono Muji that have a metallic white ground with yellow to red patterns. As the variety was developed, the pattern came in all shades between yellow and red, but Koi with good red patterns became a separate variety called Kikusui which is basically a metallic Kohaku. Originally, the word refered to the contrast of gold and platinum.
Hariwake Matsuba (HAH ree WAH keh maht SOO bah) A silver and yellow metallic koi with a black "pine cone" pattern in its scales.
Hasami Zumi (ha' sam ee zoo' mee)koi fish pictures Sumi Between. Sumi between the Hi plates. Term used to describe Sumi on Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke). Hasami Sumi is located in narrow Shiroji areas rather than appearing in the Hi plates.
Hashiri Zumi (ha' she ree zoo' mee)Running Sumi. Hashiri means "run." Sumi that is scattered in stripes (rather than Motoguro) on the pectoral fins of Showa. The term is also used to describe the striped Sumi on the pectoral fins of Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke). This term is used only for the pectoral and tail fins, but not for Sumi on the body.
Heisei Nishiki (hay' say knee' she key)See Doitsu Yamato Nishiki. A doitsu (scaleless) Yamatonishiki (metallic Sanke).
Heisei Period (HAY say period) Contemporary Japanese era that started in 1989 and continues to present. (Periods are dated and named for the Emperor of Japan and the time he serves as Emperor.)
Hemapoietic Blood formation. See also: B cell
Hemorrhage Abnormal, severe internal or external discharge of blood from blood vessels.
Herbicide A chemical used to kill unwanted plants. The use of herbicides in an aquatic environment must be carried out carefully. Some chemicals used as herbicides on land, will, if allowed to come into contact with the water, also kill aquatic life. Care must also be taken when killing off aquatic weeds that only small areas are treated at any one time. This is because the decaying, dead plants in the water can have an impact on the water quality (in particular, low dissolved oxygen concentrations).
Heterotropic Organism that obtain energy from complex organic food versus plants which synthesize food from inorganic compounds.
Hi(hee)Red markings (literally means “fire”) while Hi, Aka and Beni all mean "red", there are subtle distinctions of usage, terms are really understood by their common use in Koi culture.
Hiagari (hi GAH ree) Intensity of the red color.
Hiban (hee BAHN) Red pattern element or red area.
Higoi(hee goy')Solid red Koi that is lighter in red than Benigoi, also referred to as Aka Muji.
Hikari(hee' ca ree)koi fish pictures Metallic, there are 3 classes of Hikarimono: Hikari Muji (including Platinum and Yamabuki), Hikarimoyo (including Kujyaku), and Hikari Utsuri (including Kin Showa, Gin Shiro Utsuri, and Kin Ki Utsuri).
Hikari-Moyomono (hee KAH ree MOH yoh MOH noh) A classification including all metallic Koi with two or more colors, except metallic utsuri and showa.
Hikarimono (he' kah ree mow know)Metallic class. Nishikigoi with shiny, metallic bodies that were developed from the original Ogon.
Hikari Moyo The classification for multi-coloured 'white-based' metallic koi.
Hikari Muji (hee KAH ree MOO gee) Single-coloured metallic koi, with or without scale reticulation.
Hikari Utsuri The classification for a koi that's a metallic version of Showa or Utsuri.
Hikobore (hee' koh bow ray)Stray Hi spots. A small Hi that is separated from the other Hi plates. Also called Tobi Hi. It is not desirable and is usually an unnecessary Hi, but it could be a good accent in a Kohaku that has too much Shiroji.
Hi-moyo(hee moy' oh)Red pattern, as in Kohaku.
Himo Zumi (hee' mow zoo' mee)String Sumi. A shape of Sumi that is long and thin like a string (Himo), but is not necessarily straight. Usually used to describe Sumi on Showa and Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke). Sumi tends to become thick, but when it appears in a thin and artistic pattern, it makes the Koi very attractive. Depending on the direction the pattern runs, it may also be Tate Zumi (parallel to the dorsal fin), Obi Zumi (crossing the dorsal fin and looking like an Obi) or Tasukigake (diagonal).
Hi Asagi (hee ah SAH gee) An Asagi whose red marking extends over the lateral line.
Hi Botan (hee BOW tahn) A Koi resembling Bekko, derived from Utsuri lineage.
Hi Mura(hee moo' rah)Inconsistency in Hi color. Hi needs to be consistent everywhere on the body. Hi can become more uniform as the Koi grows and carotene accumulates. Kokesuki refers to scales that fade or lose color and result in Hi Mura.
Hi Showa (hee show' wah)Red Showa. Showa with many Hi plates and very little Shiroji. It is not a variety name, but rather a description of the amount of Hi verses Shiroji. Since Kindai Showa Sanshoku that have a lot of Shiroji came to be more available, the traditional or older type of Showa came to be called Hi Showa.
Hi Shusui (hee SHOO swee) A Shusui whose red pattern spreads up from the belly and covers the back.
Himozumi Literally means Sun rising.
Hinomaru (hee noh MAH roo) A thin sumi pattern said to be 'string-like
Hirenaga koi (hee reh NAH gah koi) Long-finned or butterfly koi.
Hiroshima Kinginrin (hee ROH shee mah keen geen deen) Kin Gin Rin as 'cracked glass' or diamond gin rin. Scales have bright lines running across them.
Hisoku Yellow-green color
Hi Utsuri A black koi with a red pattern overlaid.
Hitomomi Zumi (hee' toh mow mee zoo' mee)Hito pattern. "V"or "Y" shaped Hachiware Zumi pattern.The shape looks like the Japanese character el(Hito). This is why it is called a Hitomoji (Moji means character) pattern.
Hoaka (hoh AH kah) Hi (red) which occurs over the gill plate.
Hoo aka (hoh AH kah) A koi with red gill plates - an early version of the Kohaku we know today.
Homeostsis Maintenance of relatively stable conditions inside an organism despite a changing environment.
Honmeibara (hohn' may bar rah)The favorite parent out of many parental Nishikigoi.
Hon sumi (hohn SOO mee) 'Genuine sumi', referring to the black Sanke markings on a Koromo Sanke.
Hookazuki (hoo kah ZOO kee) A black carp with red cheeks. An early ancestor of the modern Kohaku.
Hoshi (HOH shee) Opening or window within the pattern.
Host Organism from chich a parasite obtains its nourishment.
Houki Zumi (ho' kee zoo' mee)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 (Sanke). Also called Hashiri Zumi ("running" Sumi) or Tejima ("hand striped"). A few light stripes are desirable. Extremely strong stripes are not as favored.
Hydrolysis Chemical decomposition in which a substance is split into simpler compounds by the addition of water.
Hyperemia An unusual amount of blood in a tissue or part. Often a red area on skin that disappears on pressure.
Hyperplasia Excessive increase in the normal number of cells in a tissue or organ.
Hypertrophy Abnormal enlargement of the individual cells of an organ or tissue that does not involve tumor formation.
Hypoxia Oxygen deficiency. This word and anoxia are often confused.











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