It continues to amaze me how the Japanese Koi breeders have managed to face all adversaries thrown at them over decades and still manage to come out of them all smelling of roses?
In the mid 1960’s when Japanese Koi clubs were first formed, the breeders were advised that male Koi and deformed Koi were not welcomed – and that Go-Sanke varieties should be more costlier that lesser varieties.
This only amounted to 5% of the previous year’s sales, so the breeders that listened increased unit prices twentyfold and the remainder died with the Yamakoshi winters.
The ones that didn’t listen soon went out of business.
The Koi breeders came out of that adversity smelling of roses again.
In the late 1970’s, the breeders noted a sharp downturn in demand from Japan’s enthusiasts – another adversity to face.
Thankfully many new buyers from abroad more than bridged the gap in their domestic sales – this adversity was also faced and the Koi breeders came out smelling of roses once more.
Another adversity came in about in the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s when the number of foreign buyers from Europe and the USA started to decline – mainly due to recession and exchange rates.
Luckily, this adversity was saved with hordes of new buyers from China and Southeast Asia.
Once again, the Koi breeders came out smelling of roses.
Are these Japanese Koi breeders really totally indestructible – can they continue to control all the world’s Koi prices?
At the beginning of this year, had I needed to buy Yamabuki in all grades and sizes – I’d have had to pay £1,000.00 for a return ticket to Narita – then pay a fortune for a Shinkansen return ticket to Nagaoka.
After that, because I know the area, I’d have to hire a car, pay for the fuel, find a hotel and the next day make a trip to Izumiya to find my Yamabuki.
Once purchased with hard cash, I’d then have to arrange transportation back to the UK – first accepting full advance responsibility for all the risks in travel.
Not only incredibly expensive but also a little one-sided for my liking.
Fortunately, this old Waddy dog has learned a few new tricks of late and I do think I’m old enough now to be allowed to change my mind?
I reckon the tide has turned already.
Now if I need Yamabuki or any other variety in all qualities and sizes I shall buy a £200.00 return ticket to Warsaw Chopin airport and then be collected FOC by a driver from the Yoshikigoi farm and later returned.
I shall then be given luxury accommodation, food and drinks all FOC – see shots below.
If I buy Koi there and wish to leave them there to grow – this is also FOC.
I must point out that Yoshikigoi is a working Koi farm and if you wish to see gleaming floors and modern buildings then this is not for you but it’s much better than the junkyard at the Isawa Nishikigoi Center.
I come here to see the Koi for sale.
At the moment Brussels has accepted that the Yoshikigoi farm is both KHV and SVC – free – they can ship Koi to anywhere in mainland Europe.
Only the UK demands more information before they are allowed to deliver Koi to here and that is only a matter of time.
A little more info about the farm, it is situated in a beautiful countryside area of 148 acres and has a security fence all around it.
It is owned by Ernest Driessen in partnership with Jos Aben – a world class Koi breeder. Up to now, Ernest has paid more than £10 million pounds to set it all up.
The water used comes from 65m below the ground via two wells.
Both these guys are fanatical about breeding world class Nishikigoi and from what I have seen lately, are doing just that.
I have also seen the large to huge sizes high quality Koi kept there
As production increases on an annual basis – more indoor ponds are required to house and grow their tategoi.
At the moment there are 90 field ponds reserved for tosai and 17 huge field ponds are reserved for larger sizes.
Oyagoi have all been sourced from the Koi breeders of Japan plus some Oyagoi produced on the farm.
The Oyagoi parents there total over 5,000 because this is a one-stop Koi farm and all varieties and qualities need to be produced.
Whilst Jos makes all the selections required – there are 13 other staff who can interchange all jobs such as harvesting, taking mucus scrapes for the microscope, discharging the filters, adding accurate anti-parasite medications and carrying out the huge water changes required in order to dump the pheromones.
The respect shown to Jos from myself, Ernest and the rest of the team is higher than I can possibly begin to explain – he has a fire in his eyes that I can only compare to first meeting Hiroji Sakai at SFF in 1982!
Like it or not, this farm is another adversity that will face the Japanese Koi breeders more sooner than later.
This will not be as easy to overcome as the earlier ones, in truth the Japanese Koi breeders will have to reduce their prices by 50% and this is easy for them to do but I don’t think the airlines will try to match it?
As to the aged stigma as to whether a Koi is Japanese or not – I’ve witnessed many times when a Japanese Koi breeder sells a Koi to another Japanese breeder for Oyagoi – is this a Japanese Koi or not?
Of course it is!
In the same way if Kase sells a Koi to Jos Aben for future breeding purposes – are the fry produced deemed to be Japanese Koi or not?
Of course they are!
Can Arabian racehorses be bred in the UK?
Of course they can!
If you don’t believe me – why not visit Yoshikigoi with your own eyes?
Please enjoy the random shots of Yoshikigoi below.