January 2010
Momotaro Auction
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 00:00

The Momotaro auction was fantastic for me, as I managed to get hold of one very special Nisai Sanke. This 62cm Sanke is simply incredible. When she gets big, she will look fantastic!... and she will get big!!!

Momotaro Sanke

Just before the auction started, I saw a breathtaking Sansai Sanke swimming amongst a pond of males. I asked Daisuke what the story was, and whether it was male, and he replied that it was in fact female, and not for sale. Thinking that maybe he was joking, I said I would ask his Father about it. I couldn’t find him at that point, so asked Hoshino-san about the Koi, and he concurred that it wasn’t for sale, and was going to be put into the 1500 ton pond and kept as Tategoi.

A few minutes later, Maeda-san turned up, so I ambushed him as soon as he got out of his car, and asked him about the Koi. He said, “Oh, that one… it’s good, isn’t it!?” We walked over to the pond, and I explained to him how much the Koi excited me, and asked how much he would be prepared to sell her to me for? He surprised me somewhat with the price, as I figured that it would have been 2 or 3 million yen. So, I agreed to buy her, and thanked him.

Sansai Momotaro Sanke

It later transpired, that two of the members of staff at Momotaro were a little angry that he had sold her to me! I now have to find a suitably good home for her to go to! This Koi will get incredibly big, and will be fantastic. It's one of only two Koi I ever had, that I felt just had to get the size, in order to be an incredible Jumbo Koi. If interested, email my, to find out why she isn't so big right now, and why she will get so big!..

 
Okawa, then Yamatoya
Sunday, 31 January 2010 00:00

Another advert Yuji-san showed me, was a general one that the farm had published in ‘Gekkan’ magazine. This Koi was one that we bought as Nisai, and then sold as Sansai. She is now Yonsai, and some 76cm. I have blocked out the owners name, as he doesn’t wish to become widely known in the UK.

On Sunday afternoon, I headed off to see Yamatoya. I went out with him that evening, and on the following morning went down to the farm to see how the Koi were looking, and to generally talk Koi.

Monday late morning, I drove to Omosako Koi Farm. Things there were looking good. Hiro-san showed me two Koi that he had hidden away as secret Tategoi, of which I was allowed to buy one. The Koi in question is one of the absolute top Tategoi from Zebra. They wouldn't sell me the Kashira, as they have left her in the mudpond over winter. But, he did say that the Kashira was some 57cm!

That said, Hiro-san always laughs and says that they have many Kashira! In effect, they have the Kashira from each harvest, each pond, etc. Then as they grow, they change a lot, so the Kashira status shifts around. He feels that with Kohaku, it's easy to say a Koi is the Kashira, but at Omosako, its a little tricker to say. Really, you have to ask if the Koi in question is the overall Kashira in their case, as he said that the one I am thinking of buying is a higher level than one they already said was the 'Kashira' from the general sales ponds.

This Koi has beautifully refined Sumi and Kiwa, with no stray small scattered Sumi, and is super high level with a rarely seen kind of body for growing Jumbo. I was hoping to buy her, but subsequent purchases have temporarily hampered things, for the moment... No pic, and she isn't ours... yet!

 
Okawa
Sunday, 31 January 2010 00:00

Sunday 31st was spent at Okawa Koi Farm. I didn’t buy any Koi on this  occasion, but then the January trip for me is for the purpose of  visiting the All Japan Show, rather than buying Koi.

I did however check  out the few Koi that we have residing there, and all were in beautiful condition. Yuji-san showed me an advert for the Tokyo Supremacy Show,  here he was intending to exhibit one of the Koi that we bought and had shipped last December. Unfortunately, at that time, they had already had  the Koi photographed to be published in the magazine, but for me, this only adds to the pride of having such Koi.

 
Heading to Okawa
Sunday, 31 January 2010 00:00

Yesterday at around 10am, I hit the road for the long drive down to  Okawa (Kyushu). I arrived at shortly after 3pm, and last night went out  with Yuji Tanaka. This proved to be a very interesting evening. I will be heading off there this morning to see the Koi we have residing there.

We won't be buying any Koi on this occasion, but we guarantee that we  will be buying some top Jumbo Tosai this Spring! Last night, Yuji-san  expressed how pleased he is with how we have been raising their Koi in  the UK, and as such, he and his brother had already discussed letting us  have more this Spring.

As an aside to this, and to explain the photo...  Yuji-san ordered some red wine. But, in Japan, they generally keep  their red wine in the fridge with the white wine, and drink it chilled!  Yuji-san asked them for a bucket of hot water to warm it up (I recently  introduced him to room temperature wine!), but misunderstood him, and  brought a bucket of ice! They were in disbelief when I asked the waitress to bring hot water instead! ;-)

Warming Wine!

 
Arrived in Japan
Saturday, 30 January 2010 00:00

As you can probably tell, not much has happened yet! ;-) Arrived in  Japan on the afternoon of the 29th, and headed from Osaka straight down  to Mihara to pick up my car, then headed over to catch up with  Takigawa-san. Went out for dinner with him, and talked at length about  how everything is going.

On the following morning (Saturday), I headed  back up there as he wanted to show me some new parent Koi that he had  bought from Matsue. Because of taking these new Koi in, he had cleared  all the top Nisai out of this secret house, and put them all in the mud pond last November, where they will reside right through until October.  As you can imagine, it's pretty cold, with a water temperature of 3c.  This practice is not uncommon though, and every year he always put his best larger Koi out over Winter.