Site icon Giobel Koi Center Koi Farm – Beautiful Japanese Koi Fish For Sale Philippines

Sanke koi fish Discover the Beauty and Symbolism of Sanke Koi Fish: The Three-Colored Wonder

sanke koi fish
Photo source

Koi fish are some of the most popular ornamental fish in the world, known for their vibrant colors and graceful movements. Among the various types of koi fish, the Sanke koi stands out for its unique and striking pattern of three colors. In this article, we will explore the beauty and characteristics of the Sanke koi fish.

Sanke koi fish, also known as Taisho Sanke or simply Sanke, originated in Japan during the early 20th century. The name “Sanke” means “three colors,” which refers to the white, red, and black spots or markings that adorn its body. The white base color represents purity and cleanliness, while the red and black spots signify passion and power, respectively. Together, these colors create a beautiful contrast that makes the Sanke koi fish a favorite among koi enthusiasts.

Sanke koi fish have a distinctive pattern that sets them apart from other koi varieties. The pattern should be evenly distributed and balanced, with no color dominating the others. The white areas should be pure white, while the red and black markings should be bright and vibrant. The markings should also be well-defined and not blend into each other.

Sanke koi fish can grow up to three feet in length and can live for up to 30 years. They are hardy and adaptable fish that can thrive in a variety of water conditions. However, they require a large pond or tank with clean, oxygenated water and a balanced diet to reach their full potential.

Breeding Sanke koi fish requires careful selection and breeding of parents with desirable traits. The breeding process can take several years, and it requires patience and expertise. Once the fry hatch, they are separated and raised in different tanks according to their color and pattern. Over time, the best specimens are selected and raised to maturity.

Sanke koi fish are not only admired for their beauty but also for their symbolism. In Japan, koi fish are regarded as symbols of perseverance, courage, and strength. The Sanke koi, with its three colors, is believed to represent the three virtues of Confucianism: wisdom, benevolence, and courage. It is also associated with good fortune and prosperity.

In conclusion, the Sanke koi fish is a beautiful and unique variety of koi that is admired by many. Its three colors and distinctive pattern make it a favorite among koi enthusiasts, while its symbolism adds to its appeal. If you are considering adding a Sanke koi to your pond or tank, be prepared to provide it with the care and attention it deserves, and enjoy the beauty and grace of this magnificent fish.

More informations about Sanke koi fish

Sanke koi fish Definition meaning for sanke koi fish

A koi with Hi and Sumi markings on white skin is defined as “Taisho-Sanke”. Its basic pattern is a Hi marking on the head and black stripes on the pectoral fins.  It is a representative class together with the Kohaku.

Sanke: White and red with black accents

• White, or shiroji (sheer-row-gee), is the base color on Sanke. It begins at the nose and continues to the tail, including the fins. It should be clean, bright and not discolored in any way.

• The red on Sanke is called hi (he) or beni (ben-ny) in Japanese. Beni tends to be more of an orange shade rather than a true, fire engine red. Sanke usually have large, reddish-orange patches that form the foundation of their color pattern, with the white base generally visible between the patches of beni.

• Black, or sumi (sue-me), is the rarest color on Sanke. Generally, Sanke will have black spots, or sumi markings, that are relatively small when compared to the prominent beni patches. Sumi can be thought of as an accent color, while beni and shiroji are the primary colors on Sanke.

Origin Sanke koi fish

It is not clear exactly when and how a tricolor black white and red koi had been bred, but it was found in the middle of the Meiji era. The first Sanke had black, white and red markings apart from one another all over the body and is distinguished from the present Taisho-Sanke. It ws Mr. Eizaburo Hoshino of Takezawa who bred the Taisho-Sanke with red and black markings on white skin.

Later it had been greatly improved and splendid Sankes as “Jinbei” “Torazo” and “Sadazo” were bred.


White skin The texture should be snow white.

Hi markings

Hi should be uniform and dark. Clear edges are important.

Fig 4-18

Fig 4-19

The head Hi should not spread over the eyes, jaws and cheeks. Hi should not cover the nose, either. A white part is necessary on the tail region. Symmetrical Hi pattern is desirable, Fins are not colored red.

Sumi markings

Excellent Sankes do not have Sumi on their heads. A big Sumi marking on the shoulder is important. It is very attractive (Fig-19). A Sumi marking on white skin is called “Tsubo-Sumi” (Fig. 4-20) and that on a Hi patch is “Kasame-Sumi” (Fig. 4-21). The Tsubo-Sumi markings are preferable.  It is the best that these Tsubo-Sumi markings appear symmetrically. Roundish Sumi markings look elegant. Sumi should not spread widely on the latter half of a body.


It is ideal that a fin has about three black stripes. A fin with fewer stripes looks more elegant than that with many stripes.


Fig. 4-21

Fig. 4-22

Fig. 4-23

Different Types of Sanke Koi fish


It is a Taisho-Sanke of which red marking spreads from head to tail. It is impressive but lacks elegance

Koi fish, also known as Nishikigoi, are a popular ornamental fish species that originated in Japan. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, and are often kept in ponds or tanks as pets. One of the most striking varieties of koi is the Aka-Sanke koi fish, which is known for its vibrant red and white coloring.

Aka-Sanke koi fish, also known as Taisho-Sanke, is a type of koi that is easily recognized by its three colors: white, red, and black. The white color typically covers most of the body, while the red and black markings are found on the head, fins, and tail. The red color is said to represent energy, while the black represents depth and strength.

The Aka-Sanke koi fish is a popular choice among koi enthusiasts because of its striking appearance and strong symbolism. In Japan, koi fish are often associated with good fortune and prosperity, and are considered to be a symbol of perseverance and strength. The Aka-Sanke koi fish, with its bold colors and strong markings, is believed to embody these qualities.

To keep Aka-Sanke koi fish healthy and thriving, it is important to provide them with a suitable habitat. They require clean, well-oxygenated water, and should be kept in a pond or tank that is at least 500 gallons in size. Aka-Sanke koi fish are active swimmers, so they need plenty of room to move around. They also prefer water temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Feeding Aka-Sanke koi fish is relatively easy, as they will eat a variety of foods. Pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia are all good options. It is important to feed them a balanced diet and not overfeed, as this can lead to health problems.

Aka-Sanke koi fish are a beautiful and fascinating species that have captivated people for generations. Their striking appearance and symbolic significance make them a popular choice among koi enthusiasts, and their easy care requirements make them a great choice for beginner fishkeepers as well. Whether you are looking to add a touch of elegance to your pond or simply want to enjoy the beauty of these majestic fish, Aka-Sanke koi fish are sure to impress.


Photo source

Doitsu-Sanke, also known as “German Sanke,” is a beautiful and highly sought-after variety of koi fish. This breed is a popular choice among koi enthusiasts due to its stunning appearance and unique characteristics.

Doitsu-Sanke koi are easily recognized by their white body color, red markings, and black spots. They have a metallic sheen on their scales, which is why they are also referred to as “metallic Sanke.” The metallic sheen on their scales is a result of a mutation that occurred in the Japanese koi fish, which gave rise to the Doitsu-Sanke breed.

Doitsu-Sanke koi are known for their unique characteristics, which make them stand out from other koi varieties. For example, they have fewer scales on their body compared to other koi breeds, which gives them a smooth and sleek appearance. They also have a unique pattern of black spots on their body, which adds to their overall beauty.

Another interesting feature of Doitsu-Sanke koi is their size. They are known to grow quite large, with some individuals reaching up to 30 inches in length. This makes them an impressive addition to any koi pond or aquarium.

In addition to their stunning appearance and unique characteristics, Doitsu-Sanke koi are also known for their hardiness and adaptability. They are able to thrive in a wide range of water conditions, which makes them a popular choice for both beginner and experienced koi keepers.

When it comes to caring for Doitsu-Sanke koi, it is important to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet. Koi fish are omnivores and require a diet that includes both plant and animal-based foods. A high-quality koi food that is specifically formulated for their dietary needs is recommended.

Water quality is also an important factor to consider when caring for Doitsu-Sanke koi. They require clean and well-oxygenated water to thrive. Regular water changes and proper filtration are essential to maintaining good water quality in a koi pond or aquarium.

In conclusion, Doitsu-Sanke koi are a beautiful and unique variety of koi fish that are highly prized by koi enthusiasts around the world. With their stunning appearance, unique characteristics, and hardy nature, they are a great addition to any koi pond or aquarium. If you are considering adding a Doitsu-Sanke koi to your collection, be sure to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet and maintain good water quality to ensure their health and longevity.


It is the Taisho-Sanke of the Doitsu family of which origin is the mirror carp. The Aka-Sanke of the Doitsu family is called “Doitsu-Aka-Sanke”


It is the Taisho-Sanke with silver lumps on the head.


Koromo Sanke – Sanke x Ai Goromo cross, essentially a white koi with red markings (Kohaku) where each scale is reticulated in black or dark blue (Ai Goromo)

Kanoko-Sanke (Kawarimono)

KAWARIMONO (ALL OTHERS)(no metallic koi allowed) We finally get to … This group includes Kanoko Kohaku, Kanoko Sanke and Kanoko Showa.

Sanke-Shusui (Kawarimono)

Budo Sanke: A Koi with a pattern resembling that of Budo Goromo combined with solid … Goshiki Shusui: A doitsu, non-metallic blue Goshiki (Kawarimono).

Yamato-Nishiki (Hikarimonyo)

Yamato Nishiki are the metallic version of the Sanke. Their patterns are judged the same way that the regular Sanke are. Yamato Nishiki are created by breeding


In this variety, also known as Metallic Sanke, individuals with the richest red
and black markings are favored.

Kinginrin-Sanke (Kinginrin)

Ginrin Tancho Sanke … Kinginrin Kohaku (Beta-Gin). The name “Kinginrin” means “Golden, silvery scale” and refers to those sparkling scales that appear


Learn more about types of koi 

Here’s an article from Koi net about Sanke Vs Showa

The Kohaku, Sanke and Showa varieties of koi are collectively known as the gosanke. In this case the “go” does not mean five, but refers to three noble Japanese families.

The highest quality of skin and colour is to be found amongst the gosanke and for this reason grand champions are usually selected from these variet­ies.

A Kohaku is a white koi with red pattern markings while Sanke and Showa are three coloured koi; red, black and white.

Showa and Sanke appeal to all types of hobby­ists, especially those who want to show their koi and compete for top awards.

It is not easy to raise a koi with three colours of high quality, but for those that can achieve this feat, there is the possibility of having a grand champion.

Hobbyists and even benching teams sometimes have difficulty in deciding whether a koi is a Sanke or a Showa. It is often said that a Sanke is a white koi with red and black pattern markings and a Showa is a black koi with red and white pattern markings. It is true that when breeding Showa the all black fry are kept at the first cull. However, this does not help to distinguish larger koi exhibiting all three colours.

In his book, Dr Takeo Kuroki referred to Mr Eziburo Hoshino as being the first to breed Sanke while Peter Waddington credits Mr Kawakami (Torazo) as being the first to breed Sanke in 1915. The Sanke variety has its ori­gins in the reign of the Japanese Emperor Yoshihito and the period of his reign (1912 —1926) was known as the Taisho era. Taisho means “great righteousness”. Sanshoku means three colours and the proper name for a Sanke is Taisho Sanshoku or Taisho Sanke, which is com­monly abbreviated to Sanke.

The proper name for a Showa is Showa Sanshoku and this variety was developed a little later in the Showa era of Emperor Hirohito 1926 —1989. Showa means enlight­enment and harmony. Jukichi Hoshino has been credited with breeding the first Showa in 1927 using a Ki Utsuri as one of the parents. These early Showa were of poor quality and it was not until Tomiji Kobayashi crossed Showa with Kohaku in the 1960’s that the high quality Showa we recognise today were created. learn more

Sanke koi fish more information

What does Doitsu mean in Koi?

Doitsu refers to the scalation, or in this case lack of. Doitsu means scaleless or in some cases, scaleless body, but rows of oversized scales on the top and side of the koi

Are butterfly koi real koi?

As Butterfly koi grow, they become more and more impressive because the fins keep growing until the blood vessels can’t sustain the fins to be any longer.

Butterfly koi seem to lack some of the body size of regular koi, but the overall fish can run as long as 36 to 40 inches in the right pond with plenty of food.

What type of fish are koi?

Koi fish is domesticated version of common carp. This fish is most famous by its beautiful colors that have been created via selective breeding. There are over 20 different varieties of koi fish that differ in color, patterns and type of scales.

Learn other types of koi 

sanke koi for sale


sanke butterfly koi fish
  1. What is Gosanke koi?

    Gosanke (goh-SAHN-keh) is a classification of koi fish that is comprised of three subcategories that includes Kohaku, Sanke and Showa. … This group remains the most popular choice for enthusiasts and is usually one of the first types of koi fish to find its way into a pond or tank

  2. where are sanke koi found in japan

    the Sanke (also known as a Taisho Sanshoku). This tri colored Koi (white body with red and black markings) was first seen in 1868-1912. In 1915, a 15 year old Sanke variety Koi was displayed for the first time. In 1927  Taisho Sanshoku, also called Taisho Sanke and Sanke, were developed from Kohaku about 80 years ago in 1918 in the era of Taisho

  3. how to pick show sanke koi

    There should not be any red in the fins, lJl1less very tight to the body. Be careful choosing a young sanke with many black stripes in the pectoral fins. These sometimes develop too much black at a later stage. Again, as in all koi, look for broad shoulders and large pectoral fins for good growth potential

  4. what is the difference between showa koi and sanke koi

    The most obvious difference between the Sanke and Showa is the presence of sumi on the head. Generally, Sanke will have only two colors on its head — white and red, with no sumi present. … In contrast, you should see all three colors, including black, on the heads of Showa. Bold Showa patterns begin on the face.

Learn more about Koi Fish Facts

Exit mobile version