2005 Azukari Harvest

2005 Azukari Harvest
October 28, 2005

When one visits the breeders and dealers in Japan, many of the most beautiful koi on display at their establishments are often described as azukarigoi. When pressed for a translation, the most frequent reply is simply “Customer’s fish”, a reply which in most cases quickly ends the discussion.

The word azukeru, means to place something into the care of someone, and azukaru means to have something placed in one’s care. Thus azukarigoi refers to a koi that has been placed in the care of the dealer or breeder.

Just as horses are often boarded with the breeder or trainer here in the United States, koi are often boarded with koi dealers and breeders in Japan. Horses are boarded with horse trainers in the hopes of having the trainer help the horse achieve their full potential, whether it be in the arena or on the race track. There can be a number of reasons for boarding koi with a professional facility, but most commonly, one would board their koi with a breeder in the hopes that the superior experience, care and environment provided by the breeder, would give their koi the best chance of reaching it’s full potential.

Popeye Showa

Beauty Rose Kohaku

Rose Queen Kohaku

Benibana Kohaku

Different breeders are known throughout the industry for their rearing skills in different areas. Whereas Sakai of Hiroshima is known for his proficiency in raising immense Jumbo koi in a relatively short period of time, Ikenaga of Fukuoka is known for his expertise in deepening the reds on koi that have been placed in his care. Momotaro of Okayama has an excellent record for finishing Kohaku in his massive concrete pond, and the waters of Isawa in Yamanashi are known for finishing Showa.

October is an exciting time for those of us who have azukarigoi boarding in Japan, as that is when we get to see how our koi fared over the growing season. More often than not, we are delighted with the development that has taken place under the care of a master koi keeper. Increase in size, development of body conformation, improvement of beni, sumi and luster are all anxiously anticipated.

The koi pictured here are just a few of the Pan Intercorp client azukari that are coming up from the mud ponds in Hiroshima this week.

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