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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
KHV Koi herpes virus. An extremely infectious virus with no known cure or scientifically proven antidote. A KHV infection can kill all the Koi in a pond. Quarantine of new fish is the only method to prevent infection, though even this cannot be guaranteed.
Kabuto (kah BOO toh) Translates to "helmet," referring to a Koi whose head color is different from that of its body.
Kado Japanese term for edge.
Kado-gin A type of Kinginrin where only the edges of the scales sparkle.
Kagami An old koi variety with mirror scales on both the dorsal and lateral areas.
Kagamigoi A Mirror Carp.
Kage(kah' geh)koi fish pictures Shade, shadow, shadow pattern that appear where Sumi is unexpected, often seen as a dark center on a white scale, as in Kage Shiro Utsuri.
Kage Hi Utsuri A koi whose red and black Utsuri pattern is overlaid by a kage pattern on the red markings.
Kage Shiro Utsuri A koi whose black and white Utsuri pattern is overlaid by a kage pattern on the white markings.
Kage Showa (kah' geh show' wah)Shadowed Showa. This variety was developed from the same bloodline as Koromo Showa. Its primary feature is the Asagi like netting pattern that appears on the white skin. Scales in the Shiroji would have a shadow to them. This does not indicate poor quality Sumi, but is an enhancement to the pattern.
Kage Zumi (kah' geh zoo' mee)Shadow Sumi. Kage Zumi is an area of Sumi that has strarted to emerge, but has not yet completely come to the surface of the skin, and is thus seen as a blue shadow. If the Sumi were still beneath the surface of the skin, it would be Shita Zumi.
Kaku Tan (kah' coo than)Square Hi on the head. Used only for Nishikigoi that have a Hi pattern on the body. Recently, Maruten (round Hi on the head) is used instead of Kaku Tan.
Kaku Zumi (kah' coo zoo' mee)koi fish pictures Square Sumi. Round Sumi is called Maru Zumi. Kaku Zumi appears in bloodlines such as Torazo Sanke or Jinbei Sanke. This is a term used to describe Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke), but it can be used to describe the Sumi of Showa.
Kamisori (kah MEE soh ree) Razor border, pattern that cuts across the scale.
Kamisori Giwa (kah' mee sow ree gee' wah)Razor-cut Kiwa. Term used to describe the shape of the Kiwa at the trailing edge of the Hi plates. It means that the Kiwa is sharp and straight like a razor-cut, and cuts across the scales rather than following the shape of the scales. It is one of the ideal Kiwa shapes. Another ideal Kiwa is Maruzome.
Kana (KAH nah) Male Koi.
Kanoko (kah' no coh)Fawn. Hi dotting the cetner of Shiroji scales, which makes the Koi appear dappled like a fawn. All Koi with this characteristic are called Kanoko, and it can apply to any non-metallic variety with Hi.
Kanoko Kohaku A Kohaku displaying dappled red patterns.
Kanoko Sanke A Sanke displaying dappled red patterns.
Kanoko Showa A Showa displaying dappled red patterns.
Kao (KAH oh) 'Face'; any area between the cheeks (also known as 'men').
Karasu Karasugoi (kah' rah sue)"The crow" or black Nishikigoi with no white.
Karasugoi (kah' rah sue)Black koi with a white or orange stomach.
Karasu no nurebairo (kah' rah sue no new ray bye row)Color of crow's wet feather. Shiniest Black. A crow (Karasu) is completely black. Nurebairo means "wet feather." When the crow gets wet, the feathers shine with a uniquely beautiful black. Karasu no nurebairo is an expression of the highest praise for Sumi coloration.
Kasane Zumi (kah' sah neh zoo' mee)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 Shiroji), and is thus not stable and can move as the Koi grows. Kasane Zumi of Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke) can disappear.
Kashira (kah' she rah) (kah' she rah) The most excellent Nishikigoi in the group.
Kata Moyo (kah tah' moy' oh)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.
Kata Zumi (kah tah' zoo me)Sumi patch or patches on the shoulders.
Kawa A Koi with no scales except for some reflective scales on the dorsal surface.
Kawagoi (kah wah goy)Leather Koi. Kawa means "leather." A subset of Doitsu Koi that have skin that looks like a leather jacket. All Kawagoi are Doitsugoi, but not all Doitsugoi are Kawagoi.
Kawari Literally means 'something strange'.
Kawarigoi (kah WAH ree goy) The new name for Kawarimono Koi, covering all Koi varieties that do not fall under established mainstream Koi classifications.
Kawarimono (car-wa-ree-mon-owe)koi fish pictures Nishikigoi which can not be identified as any of the named varieties. Mono means "class" and the class in which Kawarigoi are entered in a show is called Kawarimono. This class contains Nishikigoi which were accidentally created in the process of breeding other varieties. Some examples would be Kigoi, a plain yellow scaled Koi and Beni Kikokuryu, which is a new variety. Many of these Koi can be very beautiful.
Kego(keh' goy)Fry. Koi babies (fry) that have just been born. At first, they are so thin they are nearly invisible, and they do not look like Koi. Depending on body color, they are called Akako (red fry), Kuroko (black fry) or Shiroko (white fry).
Keitou(keh' tow) Bloodline. Generations of Nishikigoi that have been produced by a single breeder to develop specific traits that are handed down to successive generations. Some examples 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.
KHVKoi herpes virus. An extremely infectious virus with no known cure or scientifically proven antidote. A KHV infection can kill all the koi in a pond. Quarantine of new fish is the only method to prevent infection, though even this cannot be guaranteed.
Ki(key)Japanese term for Yellow.
Ki BekkoA yellow-based koi with sumi (black) markings.
Ki Shusui)A rare type of yellow Shusui with a green coloured dorsal.
Ki UtsuriA black koi with yellow markings.
Kigoi(key goy')koi fish pictures Yellow Koi that is non-metallic.
Kikei(key kay)Deformed Nishikigoi.
Kikokuryu (key-ko-ker-u)Basically a metallic Kumonryu derived from breeding a Kumonryu with a Kikisui.
Kikusui (kee coo' swee)Doitsu Platinum Koi with a Hi pattern, means "a Chrysanthemum in water", is the same as a Doitsu Hariwake with red markings or a metallic Doitsu Kohaku
Kin (keen)Color of gold, metallic, like the shiny skin of a Yamabuki Ogon, "gold" has a range of colors as seen in Hariwake - from yellow to red.
Kindai Showa Sanshoku (keen dye show' wah san' syow coo)Modern Showa. Kindai means "modern." The term describes a Showa that has a lot of Shiroji. When Showa was first developed, they were mostly covered with Hi and Sumi, and had very little Shiroji. Those original Showa are now called Hi Showa or Mukashi (old days) Showa. Kindai Showa are an improvement that were developed from the original Showa to have more Shiroji, which gives them a more balanced appearance.
Kin Gin Rin (keen' geen' reen')Glittering or diamond scales, Kin or gold over red, Gin or silver over white and black, several types of Kin Gin Rin used to be recognized but one variety is now considered the standard, commonly shortened to Ginrin.
Kin Katubo A black koi with gold-edged scales.
Kin Matsuba A yellow koi with black Matsuba (pinecone-effect) markings - also called Matsuba Ogon.
Kin Ki Utsuri (keen' key ooht' sue ree)Metallic black Koi with gold markings where the gold can range in color from yellow to red.
Kin Fuji A metallic white koi with a hi (red) pattern overlaying it. Also known as Platinum Kohaku.
Kin Showa (keen' sho' wa)Metallic Showa.
Kinbo A black koi which has a gold metallic sheen to its scales.
Kindai (kin die)Japanese term for modern.
Kindai Showa A Showa displaying a pattern which is mostly white - seen as a modern take on the traditional Showa.
Kindai Color uniformity.
Kirekomi (key' ray koh mee)Cut-in. Shiroji which cuts into Hi plates from the belly. It is this Shiroji that forms stepped patterns, complex patterns, and Inazuma patterns. The position of the Kirekomi is important. It appears to spread as the Koi gains weight. A Hi pattern without Kirekomi would be called Ipponhi.
Kiwa (key wa')Sharpness of all the edges of the pattern.
Kohaku (coh' ha coo)koi fish pictures A white-skinned koi, with large red markings on the top. The name means red and white. Kohaku was the first ornamental variety to be established in Japan (late 19th century).
Koi-dangi(Koi' dan' gee)Japanese for enthusiasts "talking about Koi".
Koishi(Koi' she) Koishokunin A workman who possesses excellent techniques and know-how in and whose true vocation is the production of Nishikigoi
Kokenami (coh kes' nah mee)Scalation. Disorderly scales in scaled Nishikigoi is a fault. Scalation is especially important in the Doitsu variety that have fewer scales and in Mujimono (single colored Koi).
Kokesuki (coh kes' sue key)Lighter area in the Hi plate due to an injury or loss of a scale. Refers to a scale in a Hi plate or Sum patch. This term describes scales that are not saturated with color, so that the background shows through. The scale appears thinner than the surrounding area and looks transparent. The color appears scattered and lacks uniformity. This is considered a fault. If the Koi has good deep red, it might recover. But in general, it is difficult for Kokesuki to fill in. Kokesuki refers to scales that fade or lose color and result in Hi Mura (inconsistent color).
Kokkaku (coh kah' coo)Bone structure. Body conformation, quality, pattern are the three important factors in Nishikigoi's beauty. The foundation of good body conformation is the bone structure.
Kokugyo (coh' coo-g yoh)Kokugyo means "national fish". The term also can be used for the title given to Koi that wins Best in Size at the All Japan Combined Nishikigoi Show. The prize is named the Kokugyo prize. Literally, it is the best prize for that section of Koi. Many Koi hobbyists aim for this prize. The same award at the ZNA All Japan Nishikigoi Show is called the Rin'oh prize.
Komoyo Small pattern
Konjo Dark blue
Koromo Translates to 'robed', referring to a Koi that has a white base color with red patterns overlaid with dark reticulation.
Koromo Sanshoku (coh' row mow san' syow coo)Nishikigoi that has Ai on the Hi plates of a Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke). Very rare variety.
Koshi Green
Kozumi (koh ZOO mee) Small black spots.
Kubiwa Zumi (coo' bee wah zoo' mee)Collar Sumi. Kubiwa means "collar" or "necklace." Sumi that goes around the neck, connecting one gill area to the other. Term describes the shape of certain Sumi that occurs in the Utsurimono family (including Showa and all Utsuri). The name originated because this Sumi resembled the collar of a dog.
Kuchibeni (coo' chee ben ee)Lipstick. Hi on the lips. Because it looks like lipstick, it can be very charming.
Kuchi Zumi (coo' chee zoo mi)Sumi on the mouth.. Sumi around the mouth seen in Utsurimono such as Showa. It is rare, but Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke) could have Kuchi Zumi.
Kujaku (coo-j ya coo)Means peacock, Kohaku pattern over Gin Matsuba, metallic Goshiki.
Kumonryu (ku mohn' drue)Flying Dragon. In an old Japanese legend, Koi became dragons that flew in the sky. A dragon that flies is called a Kumonryu. The Sumi pattern on this Koi variety changes over time. Because the change of the Sumi moving over the body resembled the flying dragon, the Koi variety was named Kumonryu.
Kuragake (coo rah' gah key)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.
Kuroboshi (coo row' bow she)A relatively large black spot. In Showa, this is the beginning of the Sumi development. This spot has emerged. It is more coalesced and darker than Kage Zumi (shadow over an area).
Kurogoi (coo row' goyBlack food carp, origin of Nishikigoi
Kurogoshiki (coo row' go she key)Kuro means "black." Term describes a Goshiki with a black body ground-color. It is not a variety name. The body ground-color depends on water temperature. It gets whiter in warm water and darker in cold water. The contrast of the finished black ground and the fluorescent-colored Hi plates is so wonderful that they became very popular.
Kuroko (coo row' koh)Black fry. Only Kuroko will be selected in culling Kumonryu and Utsurimono like Showa.
Kurome (coo row' meh)Black eyes. Black rimmed eyes are seen in Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke) and Showa. If the eyes have a white rim (Gin Me or silver eye), it is usually a Kohaku.
Kutsubera (coo t-sue beh ra)Shoehorn. Used to describe the shape of Hi on the head. The pattern consists of a round area of Hi on the mouth and a trapzoid of Hi on the forehead. A typical Hi pattern on the head; Maruten is another typical Hi pattern of the head.
Kyobai(kyow bye)Auction.
Kyori (coo row' goyJumbo



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