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Ki Utsuri Koi: Unveiling the Fascinating World of Yellow and Black Koi

ki utsuri
Ki utsuri koi

Today’s blog post on “Koi Varieties” marks the commencement of a trilogy focusing on the Utsuri varieties, namely the Ki Utsuri, Hi Utsuri, and Shiro Utsuri. Commencing this series is an exploration of the oldest Utsuri variety, the Ki Utsuri.

The Ki Utsuri koi, originating from breeder Maruhiro, showcases a captivating black hue adorned with a yellow pattern overlay, resulting in a distinct checkerboard or bumblebee-like appearance. While the Ki Utsuri was the first Utsuri variety to be conceived and established, it has now become the rarest among the three Utsuri types. This rarity can be attributed to the challenges encountered in breeding Ki Utsuri koi compared to their Shiro and Hi Utsuri counterparts.

Utsurimono, often abbreviated as Utsuri, represents a subgroup of koi characterized by a deep sumi (black) base color adorned with a contrasting and vibrant accent color overlay. The earliest Utsurimono koi featured a yellow accent color and were initially bred in the late 19th century. These early Utsuri koi were simply referred to as Utsurimono, signifying the brilliance of the accent pattern in contrast to the deep sumi coloration. However, over time, the name was shortened to Utsuri. Subsequently, with the introduction of the hi (red) version, the prefixes Ki, Hi, or later Shiro were appended to denote the Utsuri subvariety.

The Ki Utsuri koi were initially bred in the 1890s through a crossbreeding of a Magoi koi (a black wild carp) and a Ki Bekko koi (a lemon-yellow koi with a sumi pattern). This successful pairing resulted in the creation of black koi with a distinct ki (yellow) pattern. Regrettably, the breeding process yielded only a limited number of high-quality Ki Utsuri koi, with pairings of two Ki Utsuri koi exhibiting even less success. The establishment of the Ki Utsuri variety with consistent, high-quality outcomes was achieved in 1921 through the introduction of an Asagi (a grey-blue koi with reticulated scales and a red pattern) into the breeding program, which was line bred from the Magoi carp and subsequently paired with the Ki Bekko.

However, within a few years, the Hi Utsuri, featuring red coloration, was also developed and quickly surpassed the Ki Utsuri in popularity. This shift in preference can be attributed to the relative ease of breeding the Hi Utsuri variety, resulting in a higher availability of this type. Consequently, the Ki Utsuri became exceedingly rare for the next seven decades until the 1990s, when Maruyo and Otsuka Koi Farms collaborated to revive the variety and prevent its extinction. Over the following years, these two koi farms successfully bred thousands of Ki Utsuri specimens and distributed them worldwide, showcasing them at koi shows and reintroducing them to the hobbyist community. Their diligent efforts have yielded fruitful outcomes, as the Ki Utsuri has now become a familiar presence among numerous koi keepers, far from the brink of extinction.

(Premium Quality) Criteria for Ki Utsuri Koi

Primarily, the fundamental aspect governing all variations of Utsuri koi lies in the impeccable quality of its sumi base coloration. Achieving a state of near perfection in this regard is of utmost importance

. The color itself ought to be a profound and consistently dark black, evenly distributed throughout the entirety of the body. It is imperative that no inconsistencies or deviations in shade exist within each discernible sumi section or between different sumi sections.

The edges of the sumi, known as kiwa, should exhibit sharp and immaculate boundaries, devoid of any color bleeding. Given the sumi’s captivating contrast against the ki, the kiwa must possess flawless precision to provide a distinct demarcation between the sumi and ki. Lastly, any occurrence of individual scales bearing sumi within a ki section, or vice versa, is deemed imperfection within this particular variety of koi.

Furthermore, it is imperative to evaluate the actual pattern of the sumi in addition to the aforementioned considerations. The distribution of sumi across the body of the koi, from its head to its tail and from right to left, must exhibit a harmonious balance. An Utsuri variety with sumi exclusively present on the left-hand side of the body, for instance, would be deemed of significantly inferior quality as an Utsuri koi. Moreover, the sumi should extend below the lateral line of the fish and encompass the entirety of its body, rather than being limited to the upper region.

Regarding the head, a discernible sumi pattern should be observed, and ideally, the finest Utsuri koi will display a menware (pronounced MEHN-war-REY) pattern, which refers to a V-shaped or lightning-shaped sumi pattern extending from the mouth to the top of the head. The fins should also showcase a motoguro (pronounced MOH-toe-GOO-row) pattern, characterized by the base of the fins exhibiting a sumi coloration while the tips of the fins display a distinct coloration. In the case of a Ki Utsuri, the alternative coloration should specifically be the ki hue.

When considering the Ki Utsuri koi, it is important to ensure that the ki color exhibits a uniform and pristine appearance throughout the entire body, resembling a consistent shade of yellow. This hue should possess a high level of brightness, creating a striking contrast with the sumi markings, particularly at the well-defined and unblemished kiwa edges. Ideally, the color should resemble a vibrant sunshine yellow, devoid of any discernible red undertones. However, in the case of the Gin Rin variant of the Ki Utsuri, a slightly more orange shade is deemed acceptable. It is crucial to achieve a balanced distribution of colors, with each color covering approximately 50% of the koi’s body, and a maximum of 60% coverage in order to avoid overpowering one color with another.

Ki Utsuri koi make a remarkable addition to any collection. Their captivating bright yellow color distinguishes them from numerous other koi varieties and is considered relatively rare within the koi keeping hobby. Consequently, this fish is bound to command attention and stand out in any pond setting.

More information about Ki Utsuri Koi

ki utsuri koi for many koi enthusiasts, owning a Ki Utsuri koi is like owning a piece of living art. This striking fish is one of the most eye-catching and unique koi varieties in the world. Its striking pattern of bold black markings over a vibrant yellow base makes it one of the most sought-after koi varieties. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of Ki Utsuri koi, exploring their history, physical characteristics, and how to care for these magnificent fish.

History of Ki Utsuri Koi

Ki Utsuri koi first appeared in the early 20th century in Japan, where they were developed by crossbreeding a yellow koi (ki) with a black koi (utsurimono). It was not until the 1930s that the Ki Utsuri was officially recognized as a distinct koi variety. Today, Ki Utsuri koi are bred all over the world, with some of the most impressive specimens coming from Japan.

Physical Characteristics

Ki Utsuri koi are known for their bold and striking pattern, which consists of a yellow base with black markings. The black markings can vary in shape and size, but they typically cover the head, fins, and body of the fish. The ideal Ki Utsuri koi has clean and crisp edges to its black markings, with no bleeding or smudging into the yellow base color. A good Ki Utsuri should also have a solid yellow base color that is uniform and consistent across the entire body of the fish.

Ki Utsuri koi are a medium-sized koi variety, typically reaching lengths of 16-24 inches (40-60 cm) and weighing 5-10 pounds (2-4.5 kg). They have a sturdy body shape, with a broad and slightly rounded head. Their fins are proportional to their body size, and they have a tail fin that is forked and slightly rounded.

Caring for Ki Utsuri Koi

Caring for Ki Utsuri koi is similar to caring for any other koi variety. They require a large and well-maintained pond with clean and filtered water. The water temperature should be kept between 68-77°F (20-25°C), and the pH level should be between 7.0-8.5. Ki Utsuri koi are omnivorous, so their diet should consist of a mix of high-quality koi pellets, fresh vegetables, and live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the health of your Ki Utsuri koi. Look for signs of illness such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal swimming behavior. If you notice any signs of illness, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent the spread of disease to other fish in your pond.

In conclusion, Ki Utsuri koi are a unique and captivating koi variety that is sure to turn heads in any koi pond. With their bold black markings and vibrant yellow base color, they are truly living works of art. Whether you’re a seasoned koi enthusiast or just starting out, Ki Utsuri koi are definitely worth considering for your pond.

More informations about Ki Utsuri koi

Ki Utsuri – Ki Utsuri are judged by the same criteria as Shiro and Hi Utsuri. Variations of Ki Utsuri include Gin Rin Ki Utsuri and Kin Ki Utsuri.

Ki Utsuri are created by crossbreeding Magoi (black koi) and Ki Bekko.“Ki” means yellow in Japanese and “Utsuri” means transparent in the koi world.

Ki Utsuri koi variety. Ki Utsuri. Utsurimono are derived from the same lineage as Showa Sanshoku. They too have black skin

The Kin Ki Utsuri is the metallic version of the Ki Utsuri, which is derived from the cross-breeding of a Magoi or black Koi and a Ki Bekko Koi

Ki Utsuri, by far the rarest type of Utsuri, combine patterns of yellow over a lacquerish black body. Ki Utsuri are judged by the same criteria as Shiro and Hi Utsuri.

Variations of Ki Utsuri include Gin Rin Ki Utsuri and Kin Ki Utsuri.

Learn more about different types of koi

kin ki utsuri koi

The Kin Ki Utsuri is the metallic version of the Ki Utsuri, which is derived from the cross-breeding of a Magoi or black Koi and a Ki Bekko Koi

ki utsuri breeders in japan

One of the most established koi breeders in Japan since the Taisho Era, … for preserving the Ki Utsuri koi from extinction and breeding many varieties of koi



Specializing in Kin Ki Utsuri, Kujaku, Shusui, Beni Kikokuryu, and others source:

Ki utsuri koi people also ask

What is a ki Utsuri ?
A Ki Utsuri (KEE oot-SOO-ree) koi is a black koi with a yellow pattern overlaid giving it a checkerboard or a bumblebee-like appearance.

What is the rarest breed of koi?
Ki Utsuri. Ki Utsuri, by far the rarest type of Utsuri, combines patterns of yellow over a lacquers black body. Ki Utsuri are judged by the same criteria as Shiro and Hi Utsuri. Variations of Ki Utsuri include Gin Rin Ki Utsuri and Kin Ki Utsuri.


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