The Blue Koi of Your Dreams: A Complete Guide to Shusui Koi

shusui koi

Shusui koi are a Doitsu (scale-less) variety of koi, first bred in the early 1900s by Yoshigoro Akiyama[1]. They are one of the only two blue koi and possess only two to four rows of scales along the center of their back that run symmetrically along either side of the dorsal fin and then join into a single row toward the tail.

The highest quality Shusui have a bluish-gray colored head that is clear and free of any blemishes or marks, with a single row of scales running down the dorsal line.

It is generally desirable for hi (red) to extend up above the lateral line in Shusui, while this is considered a fault in Asagi. Breeding Shusui can be tricky due to genetics and chance involved in coloration alone

Shusui koi was the first Doitsu variety of koi and are one of the only two blue koi! They are a Doitsu (scale-less) version of Asagi.

The absence of scales on this koi can give off a beautiful blue color. Having Hi marks on the cheeks, head, body, and fins is wonderful for this koi.

Shusui The second element of an odd variety partnership is the Shusui, which means “autumn water” in Japanese. At first sight, these mirror-scaled koi seem to have little in common with Asagi, but that variety was first crossed with a German table carp in 1910 by Yoshigoro Akiyama, resulting in the first Shusui.

The color distribution is essentially the same as in the Asagi. but because there are no normal scales to give an overall reticulated effect, the smooth, sky-blue back is instead highlighted by the Doitsu scalation.

In good examples, these armored scales form a regular pattern on the shoulders of the koi and then run in two lines on either side of the dorsal fin, e returning to a single line on the caudal peduncle. A further line is usually present along each flank, roughly following the lateral line.


The most common fault on Shusui is a messy shoulder scale pattern that lacks symmetry. Rogue scales can appear elsewhere on the body, further devaluing the fish. In hard water, the mirror scales can turn grayish or black, and once this happens they never revert back to blue.

A clear head is essential on Shusui, as it is on Asagi. The skin is never snow-white, more of an ice blue, but should be blemish-free.

The distribution of the red and blue on a Shusui determines its subclassification. On Hi Shusui the hi extends up over the back. so that the two contrasting colors are red and dark blue.

These are unsubtle, quite striking, koi. Hana Shusui also have more red than normal, but here it is in the form of an extra band between the lateral line and dorsal fin, with a break in between.

In the best examples, the hi is laid on in a wavy pattern to give a flowery effect. In Ki Shusui, yellow replaces red. This is a confusing sub-variety because if the blue dorsal scales turn black it is easy to confuse with a Doitsu Ki Matsuba.

Another rare, Shusui-like koi is the Midorigoi, which is greenish-yellow with mirror scales. This one is benched in Kawarimono.


Shusui has been crossed with several normally scaled koi varieties to produce interesting variations on a theme. The commonest in the hobby are Showa Shusui, Sanke Shusui and Goshiki Shusui. Crosses with the Ogons (in the Hikarimuji classification) resulted in Ginsui and Kinsui, which used to be quite popular but have now been superseded by more refined Doitsu fish in the Hikarimoyo class.

Different Types or Varieties of Shusui

types of shusui koi

Among the types of Shusui are “Hana (Flower),” “Hi” and “Ki Shusui”.

Hana Shusui Variety

hana shusui koi
Hana Shusui

Hana Shusui are koi with round red markings on the sides (between the back scales and the lateral line).

Hi Shusui

Hi Shusui
Hi Shusui

Hi Shusui are koi whose Hi spreads over the back.

ki shusui koi

ki shusui koi
Ki Shusui
ki shusui

Ki Shusui koi variety. Ki Shusui. Shusui has been crossbred between Doitsu Koi and Asagi. Ki Shusui has yellow instead of red coloring.

blue shusui koi fish

A breathtaking Shusui. This koi has a stunning pastel blue lustre, with fiery red underbelly and mesmerising slate blue zip linear scales along the dorsal line

shusui koi wiki

Shūsui (秋翠) means “autumn green”; the Shūsui was created in 1910 by Yoshigoro Akiyama(秋山 吉五郎, by crossing Japanese Asagi with German mirror carp.

shusui koi meaning

Shusui, meaning “autumn water” in Japanese, are the Doitsu or mirror-scaled cousin of the Asagi Koi. Rather than the pure white being preferred over all else, the proper head pattern is determined by the pattern of the red and blue on the body of the Koi.

blue shusui koi

blue shusui koi

Blue Shusui koi is the traditional name for a specific type of koi fish that is known for its blue-gray coloration. The blue-gray coloration is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the production of pigments in the fish’s scales. Blue Shusui koi is highly valued in koi breeding and is considered to be a desirable trait.

The blue-gray coloration of the Shusui koi is more pronounced on the back of the fish, while the head and fins can have a more silvery appearance. Some Shusui koi may also have black patterns on their scales, which can add to the fish’s unique appearance.

Blue Shusui koi is a cold-water fish and is best kept in a pond that is kept between 50 to 68°F (10-20°C) range.

It is important to note that Blue Shusui koi can be rare and can command high prices, because it is a unique and sought after coloration.

shusui koi kanji

“Shusui” is the name of a type of koi fish that has a distinctive blue-gray coloration on its scales. The kanji characters used to write “shusui” are 集水, which literally translate to “gathering water.” This name is thought to reflect the fish’s shimmering, water-like appearance.

yellow shusui koi

“Yellow Shusui” is not a common name for a koi fish. Shusui koi is known for its blue-gray coloration, so a yellow variety would not be considered a true Shusui. However, there may be some koi that are bred to have yellow coloration and are sold under the name “Yellow Shusui” but it is not a traditional name.
It could be a crossbreed between a yellow koi and a shusui koi.

shusui koi blue and black

The traditional Shusui koi is known for its blue-gray coloration on the scales. Some Shusui koi may also have black patterns on their scales, which can add to the fish’s unique appearance. The blue-gray coloration is typically more pronounced on the back of the fish, while the black patterns are usually found on the head and fins.
It is possible that the black coloration is due to the presence of sumi, which is a black pigment found in some koi. The presence of sumi can add depth and contrast to the fish’s coloration, making it more striking.

shusui koi feeding

Shusui koi, like all koi fish, are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods. In the wild, koi would eat a variety of small aquatic animals such as insects, crustaceans, and small fish as well as aquatic plants. In captivity, koi can be fed a variety of commercial koi food, such as pellets or flakes, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some popular options include:

Pellets or flakes specifically formulated for koi
Fresh fruits and vegetables such as peas, lettuce, and watermelon.
Live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, blood worms and daphnia.
It is important to feed koi a varied diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for optimal health. It is also important to only feed koi as much as they can eat in a few minutes, as overfeeding can lead to water pollution and health issues for the fish.

It’s also important to pay attention to water temperature and light, as koi are cold-water fish, so they are less active in lower water temperatures, and may not be interested in eating. Also, in low light conditions, koi will not be able to see their food as well, and may not eat as much.

butterfly shusui koi

 butterfly shusui koi

Butterfly Shusui koi is a variation of the traditional Shusui koi that features an unusual pattern on its scales. While the traditional Shusui koi has a blue-gray coloration, the Butterfly Shusui koi has a unique pattern of black and white spots on its scales that resemble the wings of a butterfly. This pattern is caused by a genetic mutation, and it is considered to be a highly desirable trait in koi breeding.

Butterfly Shusui koi is not a traditional name, it is a name given by breeders to describe a specific pattern of koi. It is not a specific breed but rather a pattern that can appear in any koi breed.

The butterfly pattern can also be found in other koi breeds such as the Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa. But it is highly valued among Shusui koi lovers.

It is important to note that Butterfly Shusui koi can be rare and can command high prices, because it is a unique and sought after pattern.

platinom shusui koi

platinum shusui koi

Platinum Shusui koi is not a traditional or widely used name for a koi fish. It is possible that it is a made-up name used by a breeder or fish seller to describe a specific type of koi.
It could be that the Platinom Shusui koi is a variation of the traditional Shusui koi, that features a unique, platinum-colored scales. Since this is not a traditional name, the characteristics of the fish, such as its coloration, size, or patterns, may vary depending on the breeding practices of the person selling it.

It is important to research the source of the fish and the breeding practices used to ensure that you are getting a healthy and high-quality fish. It’s always better to buy koi from reputable breeders, who can give you more information about the fish and its characteristics.

shusui koi color change

A magic fish, the pattern is highly variable and can change dramatically over a short time. Their spectacular colors and patterns

asagi shusui koi varieties

breeding shusui koi

Shusui koi, also known as “Autumn Leaves” koi, is a beautiful and highly prized variety of koi fish. These fish are known for their striking blue and white scales, which resemble the colors of autumn leaves.

The History of Shusui Koi Shusui koi have a long and storied history. They were first developed in Japan in the early 20th century, and quickly became a favorite among koi enthusiasts. The name “Shusui” comes from the Japanese word for “autumn water,” which is a fitting description for the fish’s unique coloration.

The Characteristics of Shusui Koi Shusui koi are known for their vibrant blue and white scales, which are arranged in a unique pattern. The blue scales are typically located on the fish’s back, while the white scales are found on the belly and fins. This creates a striking contrast that makes the fish stand out in any pond or aquarium.

In addition to their coloration, shusui koi are also known for their hardiness and longevity. These fish can live for decades, and with proper care, can reach lengths of up to 36 inches.

The Care of Shusui Koi Caring for shusui koi is relatively easy, but it does require some specific attention to detail. These fish require a clean and well-oxygenated environment, and they should be kept in a pond or aquarium that is at least four feet deep. The water temperature should be kept between 60 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH level should be between 6.5 and 8.0.

Shusui koi also require a healthy diet, which should include a variety of high-quality koi food, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. They also require a consistent routine of feedings, as well as regular water changes to keep the environment clean and healthy.

Conclusion Shusui koi are a beautiful and unique variety of koi fish that are sure to add color and elegance to any pond or aquarium.

With their striking blue and white scales and hardy nature, they make a great addition to any koi collection. If you are considering adding shusui koi to your pond or aquarium, be sure to research the proper care and maintenance requirements to ensure that they thrive in their new home.

The History of Shusui Koi:
Shusui koi have a long and storied history. They were first developed in Japan in the early 20th century, and quickly became a favorite among koi enthusiasts.

The name “Shusui” comes from the Japanese word for “autumn water,” which is a fitting description for the fish’s unique coloration. These fish are considered to be one of the most precious varieties of koi in Japan, and their beauty and elegance is highly sought after by koi enthusiasts around the world.

The Characteristics of Shusui Koi:
Shusui koi are known for their vibrant blue and white scales, which are arranged in a unique pattern. The blue scales are typically located on the fish’s back, while the white scales are found on the belly and fins.

This creates a striking contrast that makes the fish stand out in any pond or aquarium. Additionally, Shusui koi have a hardy and robust body structure that can withstand different water conditions and temperature changes. They also have a good longevity, which means they can live for many years with proper care.

The Care of Shusui Koi:
Caring for shusui koi is relatively easy, but it does require some specific attention to detail. These fish require a clean and well-oxygenated environment, and they should be kept in a pond or aquarium that is at least four feet deep.

The water temperature should be kept between 60 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH level should be between 6.5 and 8.0. It is also crucial to maintain a consistent routine of feedings, and to provide them with a variety of high-quality koi food, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Regular water changes and proper filtration are also important for the overall health of the fish.

The Breeding of Shusui Koi:
Shusui koi can be selectively bred to enhance their already beautiful blue and white coloration. This process is known as “line breeding,” and it involves selecting the best fish from a particular bloodline and breeding them together to produce offspring that possess the desired characteristics.

It’s a long process, and only experts should attempt to breed Shusui koi, as it requires a deep understanding of genetics and koi breeding. Breeding Shusui koi can be a rewarding experience, but it is also important to remember that it is a serious responsibility that should not be taken lightly.

Conclusion:
Shusui koi are a beautiful and unique variety of koi fish that are sure to add color and elegance to any pond or aquarium. With their striking blue and white scales, hardy nature and longevity, they make a great addition to any koi collection.

These fish are not only a visual pleasure but also a great stress reliever for many koi enthusiasts. However, owning a Shusui koi also comes with a responsibility of providing them with proper care and maintenance, to ensure that they thrive in their new home.

shusui koi people ask

How do you pick a shusui koi?
The head of Shusui should be a white or pale blue-ish color, just like that of the Asagi. The head should be clear of any discoloration or spots.

Large extending red cheeks are common. When it comes to the body of the Shusui koi, there are no specifics to look for when it comes to patterns.

Learn more about different types of koi and Koi fish facts to learn koi fish history orgin etc