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.