1977. Marusada Koi farm
Near to Maruju in Mushigame village, these indoor ponds were actually on the very side of the main road.
We were advised that this was the first outlet in Yamakoshi to have introduced oil-fired heating to their indoor ponds in the 1960’s. In those days the farm was run by Sadao Ikarashi who was a real ‘live-wire’ back then and still is today although his son Toshikatsu now runs the farm and has readily inherited all of his father’s passion for laughter long ago.
On seeing Marusada Koi for the first time, for us it was like children opening presents on Christmas morning. Beautiful Gin Rin examples and Doitsu examples in many varieties that we had never seen before whilst the tiny frame of Sadao stood by with the trademark beam on his face, eager to show us any Koi that we required to inspect.
His wife soon arrived with trays of fresh-cut fruits, smoked fish (no thanks!) and assorted canned drinks ranging from hot coffee through to cold beer.
In those days Marusada was famous in producing world-beating examples of these rarer varieties, many went on to take serious awards in shows throughout Japan.
My first impression of this farm was a feeling of ‘expensive but comfortable warmth’.