January 2011
I've gone and done it!...
Sunday, 06 February 2011 02:40

I am at the airport now, about to return to the UK. I finally decided to take the plunge and call Iitsuka-san (Matsue) and buy a very special Kohaku that he showed me a few days ago. She was 'Dream Koi' material, but they didn't want to sell her. I thought I would be clever and put a photo up from my phone, but have just realised that I don't have it on the phone! This concludes a fantastic trip... Thanks for reading. Photo now added... Mike.

 
Saturday 5th
Saturday, 05 February 2011 13:42

The last few days have been fascinating! Aside from sourcing Koi for other dealers, the past few days have been pure self-indulgence, which is something that seldom happens because of usually having various people with me hunting Koi.

After leaving Okawa, I briefly stopped off at Yamatoya, and stayed the night in Muikaichi.

Then, on Thursday morning, I traveled to Matsue to sort out a little business and 'chew the fat' with the Matsue brothers. The history of their farm has always been of great interest to me, as well as the various bloodlines they are using, so I milked them of every last bit of information that I could. Like I said... pure self-indulgence! It always amazes me how little emphasis people put on bloodlines nowadays, and the simple fact, is that if you understand your bloodlines, and their strengths & weaknesses, then you have a so much better chance of obtaining Koi with a better future. For me it's akin to picking up a chrysalis and trying to guess what butterfly will emerge! But, if you knew what caterpillar turned into the chrysalis, then you understand what the butterfly will be. This thing with bloodlines is, that as well as understanding this, you also get to decent grip on what traits to expect, and therefore, how a Koi should 'look' to be a decent future prospect in relation to its lineage.

Yesterday morning, I left Matsue for Takigawa Koi Farm, as he had 9 new parent Koi that he wanted me to take blood samples from for blood testing. Me being me, I opted for a route that I knew would be very interesting, given the amount of snow there was in the surrounding areas to Matsue. In fact, about an hour into the route, I actually debated whether I was doing the right thing, for the journey was up through the mountains on a route that even in good conditions, I have NEVER seen another car for about a 40 stretch of the journey. Boy, I wasn't wrong to have had such doubts!!!... It was amazing, and the route from Yonago to Sera was closed half way through! It literally came to a dead-end in the snow, which was a metre high either side of my car! I had to turn back and head onto route 39 instead, which at one point was only just passable! I don't regret it though, it was breathtaking!

Takigawa-san was in good spirits as usual. Of course, him, me, and everyone one else that came back from the Show at Tokyo had caught the Flu-bug! He had also passed it to his Wife, so she was laid up in bed. The blood sampling went swiftly, and then we went out to dinner. Takigawa-san is a gent of extremely rare qualities! This guy has looked after me over the years to a degree that you wouldn't believe. Some of the things he has done for me still choke me up when I think about them. A few of you reading this will understand what I am rambling on about! As such, I feel that he is a guy that I have to make great efforts to look out for (look after). Aside from this, he has great taste in Koi, which makes for incredibly interesting conversation when it comes to these beautiful fishy things!

Of course, there has been more happening here than meets the eye. But, some of the Koi concerned are ones involving decisions that are not to be taken lightly. With price, comes expectation and some certainty. But, the high level stuff needs contemplation, not hasty decisions! ;-) But, I have time on my side...

I sit here in my hotel room, and have just managed to sort out the software issues on my iPhone. Fat lot of good it will do me, I fly home in the morning!

Judging at the All Japan was an amazing experience, and far easier than judging the Wakagoi last year. This was the main reason for this trip, though it has still proved otherwise very fruitful.

Enjoy the pics... The last one was the 'dead-end' of yesterday's route. More news will follow after my return to the UK

Take care...

Mike.

 
Thursday 3rd Feb
Thursday, 03 February 2011 10:38

Sorry, I have had no internet for the last couple of days, and my iPhone blogging application has stopped working :-(

It's been an interesting couple of days, and I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. I have a chance of buying two very special Koi, both of which excite me to the core, but both are very expensive. Sorry, I can't post pics on here, as the breeders concerned don't wish to sell the Koi. However, I think by this time tomorrow, I will have made up my mind and bought both, so watch this space!

I am off out to dinner now with Iitsuka-san, and will update things further later this eve...

Mike.

 
Monday 31st
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 00:31

On Sunday evening, I flew down to Okayama with Daisuke (Momotaro) and staff. I then had dinner and a wee drop of wine with Daisuke at his house, before going back to his Father's house to stay there the night.

Then, yesterday morning (Monday) I went down to the farm to photograph a very special Sansai that I bought there as Nisai. I have just sold the Koi, but she is now 71cm, and has a fantastic future ahead!

At present, Momotaro are just finishing the construction of a new fish house, containing 18 ponds. The new facility is superb, and will allow Momotaro to cope with the ever increasing number of customers Koi that people seem to wish to leave there to 'grow old' ;-) At Yume Koi, we are something of an exception to the trend, as we tend to bring most Koi back to the UK, no matter how special.

At around 11.30am, I hit the road and headed down to Omosako. This was intended to be more of a social visit, but I did find one superb Nisai there, and one cheaper one of surprisingly high quality.

Last night, I drove to downtown Hiroshima with Takahiro Omosako, as it was Yuuki-san's birthday, something that the three of us have celebrated every year. However, I woke up that morning feeling very poorly (chest infection) so took it very steadily with the drinking. As I type this, I am in theory getting ready to head off to Kyushu, to visit Okawa Koi Farm. This isn't intended as a 'buying' visit, but more of a social one. But, who knows?...

 
All Japan Show
Sunday, 30 January 2011 01:25

As you can imagine... the last few days have been very busy. I visited Takigawa-san after the Momotaro Auction, after which, I drove to Matsue, which made for a very interesting, and beautiful drive! As you can, there was over 1 metre of snow!

I am now in Tokyo at the All Japan Koi Show, where I have judged this year. I was assigned to the 70Bu size team, which I think is probably about the most interesting, as there are many reasonably large Koi, yet they are still young, so still very beautiful. In addition to judging this size, I also had the pleasure of judging all of the Champion Koi, which are all stunning! The GC this year, is an incredibly beautiful Sakai Kohaku, owned by Kris Kasemsarn from Thailand.

This afternoon, I head down to Okayama, and then will travel around Hiroshima, and Kyushu areas.

 
Jan 25th, Momotaro auction
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 22:57

I spent the day at the Momotaro auction, and managed to get hold of two extremely good Sanke! The first of these, was a late bred Koi, born in August 2009, measuring 53cm. The second was also bred in August, and measured some 58cm. I think that this Koi will easily exceed 90cm, with a good chance to grow over 1 metre.

Last night, I drove to Matsue, and dined out with Iitsuka-san. I will be visiting the farm this morning, before heading to Takigawa Koi Farm this afternoon. So, more info will follow later...

 

 
All Japan Show, and Momotaro Aution 25th Jan...
Sunday, 23 January 2011 14:09

Hello,

I am currently in the departure lounge waiting for my flight to Japan. Anyway, on Tuesday (9 hours ahead of UK time zone), I will be attending the Momotaro Auction in search of Nisai and Tosai. If you have any interest in any of the Koi on Momotaro's website, please feel free to drop me a line. The Koi can be viewed on Momotaro's website HERE.

After that, I will be attending the All Japan Show, where I will be judging, and then going to visit a few breeders... Keep your eyes on the 'Japan Blog' pages.

Many thanks,

Mike.