1985. Ogawa2 Koi farm – Muikaichimachi, near Nagaoka.
Another friend of Megumi Yoshida. This tiny outlet is also a bicycle repair shop!
It is owned by Kenji Ogawa, a complete and utter head case and completely unpredictable.
His display ponds are right on the roadside and comprise of one outer structure with wooden divisions inside to form three small ponds.
One must then walk through his house, which is full of bicycles in varying stages of both repair and disrepair, in order to get to a small indoor pond which, he says, is his ‘best pond’. If one moves to the end of this pond you will find a tiny mud pond actually joined to the house itself!
Every visit to this outlet produces completely different Koi so I do not really think he breeds any Koi at all. I suspect he may buy these from other breeders in the area.
There were already a few others inside his home nibbling on cheese and sliced ham plus significant cans of beer were present both empty and full. Everyone seemed to be in very high spirits enjoying themselves.
There were a few Koi that caught my interest but then I had to get Ogawa San’s attention. Eventually he strolled over with a beam on his face. I pointed out three that looked very acceptable and asked him a price for the three (zen-bu) – together.
He then replied in Japanese which I did not understand, Megumi came to my aid saying ‘He asks you to quote your price to him’! I then quoted my price to which he quickly replied, in English – ‘OK, cash please’. I paid him and he returned to his other guests.
The next time I saw him was one year later when he was assisting Kazuto Ikarashi with his best mud pond harvest.
My first impressions – ‘the man’s an oddball’!