(Or so the books and the experts say.)

Several years ago, I saw a three year Koi at Maruju – it was the most beautiful Shiro Utsuri I can ever recall, trouble was, it had a perfect red kuchibeni lip which made her a Showa. She could not be entered in Utsurimono class and, as a Showa she was useless. I was only part of the queue waiting to buy her and she was sold before I got the chance – for a substantial amount!

In the mid 1980’s, I bought many Koi from Omosako’s father in Kure Town, Hiroshima. On one visit I saw a pure white Koi with a wonderful ‘Kohaku Pattern’ – trouble was, the pigment of the pattern was jet black. For show purposes this was ‘Kawarimono’ of no real variety. I bought her immediately and the price was not exactly cheap – a leading Koi collector in the UK also saw her beauty and snapped her up immediately, we christened her ‘The Sumi Kohaku’.

Whilst looking at some wonderful Koi for sale at an outlet in Chiba, a single Shiro Muji came to view. I asked the dealer why and he just replied ‘My Tategoi’, he then caught the Koi and placed her in a bowl. The creamy-white skin dazzled and the body was utter perfection, he then lifted her out to show me her red eyes. The Koi was completely unique; I had never seen one before or since. She was not cheap but I bought her, I think she was on sale for 3 hours before she was sold in the UK.

‘Kin Kabuto’ varieties have no commercial value say the early books written by ZNA enthusiasts. This statement was shot to pieces when I found one for sale at Sanroku in Yomogihira village. She was truly a remarkable sight to behold at 130cms with a body that defied belief. The price? – £46,000.00!

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