A good example of this is the late Mr. Hiroi – ‘Choguro’ in Araya. He produced, in my opinion, the finest Purachina in the world and I can usually find many one and two year Koi for sale there at reasonable prices. These, however, do not include his Tategoi which are pre-selected and kept in separate ponds either to grow for a further season or to sell to those who are prepared to pay the asking price. However, at a casual glance, there is little to choose between the cheaper Koi and the Tategoi although prices can be twenty times higher’.
Answer – ‘ALL Koi can be purchased – as long as you are prepared to meet the breeder’s asking price and take your chance as to how the Koi develops and matures. A point of interest here, there have been many occasions when I have asked the price of one special tategoi to the breeder and on many occasions the reply has been – ‘Up to now, I have refused xxxxxxxxxYen for this Koi’. This means that one must be prepared to exceed that price if one is seriously considering buying the Koi.
These are just a few of the more popular questions I have been asked to answer about Tategoi over the years and am still asked the same questions on a daily basis. However there is much more that encompasses the entire subject, which I will now try to explain in mere words once again.
There are a few collectors, breeders and dealers in Japan and throughout the world who are looking for VERY SPECIAL KOI. These people wish to locate these Koi, purchase them and, (either by their own techniques or the keeping skills of the breeder), realise the maximum potential of these Koi. Hopefully this will be achieved by releasing them to enter into a major show when the time is just right, and then walk away with the coveted awards.
However, there is only ONE single Koi, from the millions-upon-millions produced every Spring, that can possibly take the Supreme Champion award at the All-Japan Show once every year.
The competition is fierce to say the least with over 1,000 breeders striving to produce one single egg that will, one day, achieve this target! If you gave this information to a bookmaker, who understood the situation fully, can you begin to imagine the odds he would, in turn, give you as to the chances of a choice of one single ‘egg’ ever becoming the ‘Nishikigoi Champion of the World’?
Returning to the few collectors, breeders and dealers in Japan and abroad who are still looking for VERY SPECIAL KOI. They need much more than just pots and pots of money with which to purchase them as well as superb pond water conditions to develop them IF they ever find them in the first instance! Lots of people from every country in the world have pots and pots of money but only a tiny percentage of these are besotted with the beauty and the mystique of Nishikigoi. These few, fortunately wealthy people, also need experience that has to be paid for, usually by making many costly errors of judgment. For the wealthy collector it is advisable that they employ a professional & reputable dealer to accompany them on their searches and pay them a commission for their service and advice. For the professional breeder or dealer it is their profession and very few mistakes of judgment are ever made by these guys!
Now, back to the ‘makers’ or the breeders, these guys also know the collectors who are looking for VERY SPECIAL KOI – it is their business to know them or know of them! If these ‘makers’ really believe they have something very special they will, after careful deliberation, make contact with these people and invite them to inspect their special Tategoi.
The special Koi may be two years or ten years away from maximum potential but it must be initially worth mentioning the specimen to the collector, breeder or dealer concerned. The journey and time involved just to see the Koi may be significant and, with guys who have pots and pots of money, – time is money! If the breeder makes one mistake in judgment then the customer may think twice about returning should another contact be made in the future.