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Nishikigoi Terms

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

Ma Wild
Mado (mah' dough)Window. Small Shiroji areas occuring either in Hi plates or Sumi patches that look like windows. This Shiroji in Hi plates is also called Madoaki. It is considered a weak point because Mado rarely fill in and they disturb the dignity of the pattern. If they help to keep the total balance of the pattern, then they may be considered acceptable. Mado can be caused by the inborn character of the Koi or from damaged and/or missing scales.
Madoaki (mah' dough ah' key)Window of Shiroji in the Hi plate, a fault.
Maki (ma' key)Wrap of the pattern below the lateral line of the Koi, Hi Maki is desirable in Kohaku and other Koi based on a Kohaku pattern, Sumi Maki is desirable in Showa.
Makiagari (ma' key ah gah ree)Wrap up. The term used to describe Sumi of the Utsurimono family such as Showa or Shiro Utsuri. The Sumi of the Utsurimono family rises to wrap the body from the belly to the back along the trunk, and thus is the term used only with Sumi for these varieties of Koi. We do not use Makisagari for Sumi because it means "wrap down."
Makibara (my'eh za she)A red pattern that wraps around the body.
Makisagari (ma' key sag ah ree)Wrap down. A term used to describe a Hi plate wrapping down from the back to the belly. When it stops above the lateral lines, it can be said that the "Makisagari is light." This is term only used to describe Hi plates. Makiagari is the term for the Sumi of Utsurimono varieties.
Maezashi (my'eh za she)Same as Sashi
Magoi (MAH goy) A mud carp, originally wild carp.
Mameshibori (ma' meh she bow ree)koi fish pictures One of the two types of ground-color in Goshiki. Mameshibori refers to a lighter ground color. Unlike Kuro Goshiki, the netting does not tend to darken and stain the entire background depeding on water temperature. The Koi usually maintains a white ground.
Maruten (ma roo' ten)koi fish pictures Round Hi pattern on the head. When a Koi has only one Hi plate, and it is a round Hi plate on the head, the Koi is called Tancho. When a Koi has multiple Hi plates including one round Hi plate on the head, it is referred to as Maruten. The round Hi on the Koi's head resembles a Japanese crane called a Tancho Zuru (crane). The pattern also resembles the Japanese flag, and Tancho Kohaku are very desirable for this reason. Large, round, Hi patterns that stay on the head are most desirable. Small, round patterns on the head are called Ko (small) Maruten.
Maruten Kohaku A Kohaku with a seperate red marking on the head and additional red on the body.
Maruten Sanke A Sanke with a seperate red marking on the head and additional red on the body.
Maruzome (ma roo' zoh meh)Round Kiwa. Kiwa that follows the scallop-shape of the scales. Also called Tama Giwa. One of the two primary Kiwa shapes. Often seen in Kohaku of the Dainichi bloodline. It is highly prized because it resembles the shape of a cherry blossom petal. The opposite is Kamisori Giwa.
Matsuba (maht' su ba)Pinecone. Body ground pattern that has scales with a dark Ai (indigo) core throughout the body. Matsuba refers to the pinecone like appearance of the scales. Unlike Kage which appears on the Shiroji of Nishikigoi from the Utsurimono family, Matsuba appear on Hi plates as well. It appears on both metallic and non-metallic varieties. The Matsuba variety are still appreciated for their restful and peaceful patterns.
Matsukawabake (mahts' kah wah bah' key)Black and white Koi, colors change place, Matsukawabake is the scaled version.
Mean Depth is another way of saying “average water depth.” Mean depth can be estimated by measuring the water depth in many locations and averaging those values.
Medaira (meh dye' rah)Refers to an imaginary line that runs between the eyes. It is the ideal pattern entry for the head. When a pattern begins above this line, the pattern is considered light. An ideal pattern begins a little bit closer to the mouth than the line and is a bit curved towards the mouth.
Meiri (may' ree)The Best. An especially excellent Nishikigoi. One-of-a-kind. The single best Koi among all the outstanding Koi. Another term would be Ippin.
Mekazura (meh kah zoo' ra)Rim of the eyes. Skin and muscle that surrounds the eyes including the eye lids. When there is Hi around the eyes, we say "it disgraces Mekazura". If the Mekazura is white on a Menkaburi pattern, it is still most likely a high-quality Koi, and the Menkaburi is not considered a fault.
Mekiki (meh key' key)Koi expert. An experienced and well-trained person that can accurately judge not only the present value but also the future value of a Koi.
Men (mehn) "face"; also kao.
Mena & Kana (meh nah & kah nah)Mena means Female and Kana means Male.
Menasa (meh nah saw)Shallow or light entry of the pattern on the head. A Koi with Menasa has wide Shiroji on its head because the pattern begins further back, rather than the ideal pattern entry of a curved line between the eyes. We would say that "This Koi's head is Menasa."
Menkaburi (men' kah boo ree)Hi extending over the eyes on the head, undesirable, especially on Kohaku.
Menshiro (men' she row)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.
Menware (men' wah reh)Head Divided. Describes a Sumi pattern seen only in Showa or Shiro Utsuri that divides the head. An ideal Menware (also interchangeably called Hachiware) runs in an Inazuma pattern from the mouth to the shoulder, and gives the Koi the impression of power. See explanation of Hachiware.
Meija The era from 1868 to 1912.
Mesu Female
Metabolism Sum af all physical and chemical changes within an organism and all energy and material transformations within its cells. It involves two fundamental processes: assimilation (a building-up process) called anabolism and disintegration (a tearing-down process) called catabolism.
Methemoglobinemia Hemoglobin is poisoned by nitrite and forms methemoglobin and thus cannot carry oxygen. Methemoglobinemia is also called "brown blood disease".
Microorganism Microscopic living organisms, especially a bacterium or a parasite.
Midorigoi (me dough' ree goy)Yellow-green, non-metallic Koi, could be Doitsu or scaled.
Midori (me dough' ree)Green.
Midori Ogon (me dough' ree oh' gone)Mettalic Midorigoi with some Sumi, Doitsu only.
Milt White solution that contains the spermatozoa (semen) of a male koi.
Mirror Large scales along the dorsal and lateral lines
Mono (MOH noh) Meaning one or single.
Morbidity Disease or sickness.
Moribund Organism dying from a disease.
Morphology What something looks like.
Motoaka (moh toe ah' ka)Hi at the base of pectoral fins. 30% is ideal. Small Hi that is gathered together at the spot where the fin meets the body shows the quality of the Koi's Hi and is a feature of some varieties and patterns. The rest of the pectoral fins must be white. If it cannot easily be seen in a Kohaku when the Koi is viewed from the top, then it is acceptable. If it is obvious, it is considered a weak point in Kohaku, but a feature in Asagi and Shusui.
Motoguro (moh toe goo' row)Sumi at the base of pectoral fins. Seen primarily in Showa and Shiro Utsuri. It could mean Sumi in the tail fin. 30% is ideal. But the term is rarely used for that. Small Sumi that is gathered together at the spot where the fin meets the body shows the quality of the Koi's Sumi. If the Sumi is spread like a broom, it is a fault in Showa and Shiro Utsuri. High quality Motoguro makes the white pectoral fins appear dignified and is considered a highlight of these varieties.
Moyo (moy oh')Pattern. Also called Katatsuki. Pattern is only one component of Nishikigoi beauty. Conformation and Quality are even more important.
Mucin Glycoprotein found in mucus.
Mucous Membrane Membrane that lines passages and cavities that communicate with the outside of the body. Consists of a surface layer of epthelium, a basement membrane and an underlying layer of connective tissue, the lamin propria. Mucus-secreting cells or glands are usually present.
Mucus A viscous (thick, gummy) fluid secreted by mucous membranes and glands consisting of mucin, leucocytes, inorganic salts, water and epithelial cells.
Mudagoke (moo dah' go key)Wasteful scales. Irregular scales on a Doitsu Koi. The straight scale lines starting from the shoulder and running along both sides of the dorsal fin are the highlight of a Doitsu Koi's beauty. Any scales out of order are very noticeable and disgrace the Koi's appearance.
Muji(moo' jee)solid color.
Mukashi Showa (moo' cash ee show' wah)Old-type Showa. Opposite of Kindai (new) Showa that have much Shiroji. The older traditional Showa had mostly Hi and Sumi and are now called Mukashi Showa and sometimes Hi Showa. It is not a variety name, but rather a description. There are still many Mukashi Showa with superior Hi quality.

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