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    Thread: koi shows in Japan. a hobbyist's wondering pics.

    1. #21
      azngopher's Avatar
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      since Futoshi and Shigeru were not around, I had the opportunity to play around with some of the koi.

      Maki (in his last year at the farm) pulled up 4 showas for us to rank along with Hoshino-san, a first year apprentice.

      how would you ranked them?
      Duc
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    2. #22
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      i was going to spend saturday night in Ojiya but Maki reminded me of Narita's Dainichi event outside of Nagoya (a little over 8 hour drive) so I decided to hoof it back to Tokyo and get up early to make the event. it turned out to be a good decision.

      This was a fun event to attend (remember that the 2007 All Japan GC showa, Sakura, came from this event). you rank the koi 1-5 (there were 72 of them), they tally up the scores and place them into 3 categories. top 1/3 are sold for 200,000 yen, middle 1/3 are at 150,000 and bottom 1/3 are at 100,000. You can entered into the drawing for the koi you ranked 1st. If more than one owner ranks the same koi 1st, they draw straws to see who gets lucky. any koi that doesn't get ranked 1st is placed in open sale later.

      I wasn't lucky with my first choice as it was also very popular with the crowd. it went to a german dealer for 200,000 including mud fees for a year. the koi that weren't ranked first go on sale to anyone who wants them for the price tier they fell into. if more than one person is interested, they draw straws. there were still koi available after this so they were reduced by 30%. this is a great deal on a koi, as you can get a sansai next year for what equates to $650, man i wish i had a pond...

      here are the koi that were available.
      Duc
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    3. #23
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      lots of hobbyist got great deals on Sunday but the real draw for me were the three koi that were going on auction. three very different koi in impression.

      koi 1 was smaller and not the typical Dainichi frame. she definitely had more luster with the sumi and beni quality were better than the other two. koi 2 was the star of the auction, gaining most of the interest during the day. a powerful and brilliant patterned koi. my favorite but knowing the crowd of dealers and hobbyists interested in this koi, i wasn't even going to entertain any hopes of getting her. koi 3 was what you would expect of Dainichi showa and had a pretty cool kindai style, which i like a lot. only issue was that her left pec was trimmed and i couldn't get past this.

      video of the aution action:
      Duc
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    4. #24
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      so why was it such a good reason to spend more time in the car than in my own bed this past weekend? i won this showa!

      the bidding started off slow and many of the hobbyist got into it and i jumped in as well. but then Narita-san raised his finger to enter the bidding as well. he just kept it up until all the other bidders dropped out. i knew that this would be my only chance to get a nice koi and i didn't want to drive home empty handed. so i stayed in it, eye to eye with the world's number 1 koi dealer. the price went up to 300,000, then 400,000 and then 500,000! i was getting worried how high this was going to get but after 500,000 bid by Narita-san, i went to 510,000 hoping that he would stop and let me have the koi. at that moment, he looked at me, smiled and dropped his hand. i was so relieved and estatic that i had won this showa. now i have a claim to fame by beating out Narita! lol... never going to happen again.

      Attached Images Attached Images     
      Duc
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    5. #25
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      you can see all the pictures of my visit to Dainichi and the Narita event at the following links

      Narita Dainichi Event:
      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=46a8431231

      Visiting Dainichi Koi Farm:
      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=85a0b41d93

      enjoy!
      Duc
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    6. #26
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      Congratulations, beautiful showa!
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    7. #27
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      Awesome trip and coverage of the event. Congratulations on your awesome showa as well! Thanks for sharing.

    8. #28
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      Wow, that seems like a really good price, especially for that fish.

    9. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by inazuma28 View Post
      Wow, that seems like a really good price, especially for that fish.
      That was an insider price.
      Last edited by abuchi123; 12-24-2014 at 06:03 PM.

    10. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by abuchi123 View Post
      That was an insider price.
      ;-)

      Hobbyists in Japan have thede opportunities so I am going to take advantage while here. To be honest, this is a good looking koi and the price may be great for me but not for the locals as they dropped out of the bidding. Maybe because it was Narita-san influenceing this but I think they can get better than this as well.

      I can't wait to attend the Dainichi auction next year and see what I can get. I'll be saving up my yen for that!
      Duc
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    11. #31
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      So by living there do you save on shipping and by bidding on it yourself do you save on commission is that how it work I'm just curious?

    12. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by sactownkoi View Post
      So by living there do you save on shipping and by bidding on it yourself do you save on commission is that how it work I'm just curious?
      I am only writing about my own situation, others may have access and relationships that are not available to me.

      For auctions that I am allowed to attend such as this one at a retail outlet or at shows where the general public gets to participate, there is no commission. If this was a dealer's only event, I would have to go thru the same route as anyone else and pay commission on top.

      For shipping, this has to be arranged thru your own network. I will be working with Kenji Tani of Tani Koi to 1)act as my dealer when visiting breeders that I do not know personally 2)house my koi that are moved from the farms for the duration of my stay 3)handle my koi for any shows locally 4)ship them to the US to someone who can handle/receive the koi in the US.

      So living here gives me more access but doesn't circumvent the breeder/broker/dealer relationship. You have to respect the system.
      Duc
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    13. #33
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      Quote Originally Posted by azngopher View Post
      I am only writing about my own situation, others may have access and relationships that are not available to me.

      For auctions that I am allowed to attend such as this one at a retail outlet or at shows where the general public gets to participate, there is no commission. If this was a dealer's only event, I would have to go thru the same route as anyone else and pay commission on top.

      For shipping, this has to be arranged thru your own network. I will be working with Kenji Tani of Tani Koi to 1)act as my dealer when visiting breeders that I do not know personally 2)house my koi that are moved from the farms for the duration of my stay 3)handle my koi for any shows locally 4)ship them to the US to someone who can handle/receive the koi in the US.

      So living here gives me more access but doesn't circumvent the breeder/broker/dealer relationship. You have to respect the system.
      Oh ok thank you

    14. #34
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      another koi outing! this time was to Okadan Koi (http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~odk/)

      they were having a tosai event with koi from Sakai, Momotaro, Maruyama, Dainichi and Omosako. You can see the pics from the website here:
      http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~odk/koi/newpage1.html

      It's a small retail operation but with pretty high quality koi in the koi house. Interesting tidbit: His wife and Narita's wife are sisters.

      Here is a video of the koi in the event and of the koi house.


      here are my pics
      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=6ac797bede

      enjoy!
      Duc
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    15. #35
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      Some day I Will get there. Awesome!

    16. #36
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      What better way to welcome in the new year by traveling via Shinkansen to visit the famed Dainichi Koi Farm? I'm sure my wife would say otherwise but since Tran and the kids are in Texas, I spent the day on another koi adventure!

      Taking the Shinkansen is very convenient and cost effective for one person but once you add 2-3 people, a car ride would greatly reduce the cost of the trip, although it could be an additional 2 hours each way. Hey,more time to talk koi!

      I got to the farm around noon and Shigeru was still busy with the holiday festivities so I wondered around the new green house looking at all the large koi that were being kept for customers, some of the recently sold nisai and of course my showa. This pond caught my eye and I stood there watching it for about an hour, wondering how the heck did he achieve this type of sumi on the koi?! Check the showa swimming around out, the sumi is so nice, so deep. I wondered who the lucky owners were. A bit jealous I was of these specimens. I know the video will not do these koi justice.

      Duc
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    17. #37
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      Shigeru and Futoshi show up and we get to chat a bit around the koi that they are prepping for the All Japan Show. Futoshi doesn't speak much English and has to go cook the big dinner anyways so I didn't spend much time with him. Shigeru discusses the kohaku that won 90bu last show, thinking that it shouldn't be shown this year but the owner wants to enter the koi again. He points out that the koi had some damage to the beni plate on the side during the time in the mud (this is a reality that we all must come to terms with when buying a koi, it could turn out great or get damage after a season in a natural setting). He just shakes his head and says "we will do what the customer wants". I did notice some awesome larger koi but their finish were not in condition, especially the luster/skin quality were not up to his standards.

      We head over to the another new greenhouse, a smaller one for holding nisai and sansai for sale and this is where the fun begins! As we were walking over I told him about my new job and that I would be in Japan from 3-5 years and what I wanted to accomplish with this opportunity to be within a few hours train or car ride. He knows I like showa (a lot) so we get down to looking at 2 ponds of nisai. Monster 1 & 2 are from Momotaro Koi Farm, current holders of the All Japan Koi Show (Shinkokai) and the ZNA All Japan Koi Show titles. Both koi are from the same line as Lion Queen, characterized by her imposing size and tremendous growth rate. I remember seeing her at the ZNA Show in 2011 where she was already past the 80cm mark as a 4 year old. Monster 1 was purchased as 5 year old at 90cm with a heavier, more girth and belly like Lion Queen, Monster 2 was purchased at 89cm as a 4 year old but with a more streamline gosanke body without the gut. So these koi have a propensity to grow big fast.

      One thing that Shigeru mentioned before we bowled any koi up that to consider that these are only in his second year of breeding so he doesn't know how they will develop long term. Saying that, is experience has been that the less pretty, a little insipid, not so great beni koi tend to develop to better adults than the ones that catch your eye as nisai or even sansai. This is a good nugget of information to have when buying koi, especially about a type that he knows quite well.

      He explains further that he is not really happy with Monster 1 as the belly/gut doesn't look good to his eye but he will keep as many as he can to see how the body frame supports the girth versus length development. There is something that needs to be studied for him to see how a koi can develop even with that gut being so heavy. He is an artist but he is also a farmer and he will only farm what sells with few exceptions (they tried ginrin last year and won't be doing that again). So we look at Monster 1 and quickly move onto Monster 2 offspring. This is the same pond I pulled the 4 showa from 2 wks ago. Last week was for fun, this week is for buying so I ask Shigeru to pull 3 koi and I will pull one. Turns out he pulled one of the koi that I picked last time. 1 out of 4 isn't bad! ;-)

      We talk thru each (I was so engrossed that I didn't even take pictures!) and went back and forth on beni quality, pattern, sumi up or down and of course body shapes. This was really the focal point of our discussions as we put back two of the koi after seeing that they were lacking in a critical area for showa, which is the transition from the abdomen to the tail. They weren't bad for by any means, just not up to the other siblings. No koi is perfect and I wasn't completely happy with the two remaining in the bowl so we bowl 2 more up, one of my picking and the other by Shigeru. Immediately I recognized that the one Shigeru picked was the best package of any of the koi. He looked at me sheepishly and said he didn't want to show me this koi in the beginning because he didn't think I would like such a plain looking koi (he mentions it as being simple in the video) but the body lines on this koi were incredible including a tail tube that was hard to believe given that the koi was 62 cm as a nisai. This was the type of koi I was looking for, a long body but with a big frame to support the muscles to come. We talked and came to a price. She wasn't cheap but with the yen as weak as it is now, it was time to shake hands.

      Duc
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    18. #38
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      But before leaving, I wanted to ask him about two other koi. One was in another pond that I spotted 2 weeks ago and wanted to know just for kicks how much she was. I won't give any prices but the first number starts with 4 and ends with million. ;-)

      link to the picture of the koi if you had forgotten: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

      The second koi was in the same pond as the ones we pulled but wasn't pulled up due to her size. I actually pulled this koi 2 wks ago and wanted to get a price on her on this trip but totally forgot until we were done. I was amazed at how much better she looked today vs what I saw two weeks ago. Her skin was outstanding and the beni really popped against the beautiful shiroji. Her frame wasn't as big as the others but well proportioned with even lines and topped off with a great looking pattern. Shigeru was surprised this was in the pond as he didn't see her when we were making our selections. He liked this one too but not as much as the one we agreed upon. He did say that if I took both koi, he would give me a great price on this one. I have some time to get back to him on this.



      The train ride back was but a blur as I was thinking about the koi and how lucky I am to have this opportunity with these breeders.

      link to the pictures.
      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=85a0b41d93

      Sorry if this was bit long winded and not put together well. A wordsmith I am not!

      That is it for now, until Sunday when I go visit Tani Koi farm near Narita airport for his New Year's Isa tosai growout and sale event.

      Kampai!
      Duc
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    19. #39
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      I had the opportunity to visit Tani Koi Farm for their New Year's sales and Isa tosai growout contest today. Tani's is located in Chiba, about an hour away from downtown Tokyo and within 10-15 minutes of Narita airport. Tani is pretty diversified with ponds for fishing, a miniature golf area, kids play area, a very good restaurant, a shop stocked with any koi stuff you will ever need/want and if he doesn't carry it, he will order it for you! Tani is a breeder (goromo, sanke, kohaku, showa, kumonyru, shusui, yamabuki to name a few), dealer and exporter (ships a lot of koi all around the world for breeders and brokers). If you don't have time to visit Niigata or a koi farm in other parts of Japan, plan a couple hours to visit Tani's during your trip to Tokyo.

      The growout was well attended by hobbyist from around the area along with a couple Chinese hobbyists and all the hobbyist that "virtually participated" by putting in their requests via email thru their dealers or directly to Tani. You selected via pictures which koi you would like to purchase and then if you are the only one who selected the koi, it is yours for 50,000 yen ($415.25). If more than one hobbyist selects the same koi, you draw lots or in this case, chopsticks! The koi are kept at Tani's in the same pond, with the same food and will be judged by Mitsunori Isa in March, 1st place gets 500,000 yen, 2nd place gets 300,000 yen, and 3rd place gets 200,000 yen.

      I like how the dealers have place incentives to motivate hobbyist to participate and also the global reach of this event. Hobbyist from around the world can now enjoy the same experiences as local hobbyists. Of course the locals will always have an advantage in selecting which koi to go for. Example: My game plan was to select 7 koi from the pictures as my choices that I would put my name down for (this doesn't even guarantee that I'll get any of them thru the drawing of chopsticks, just increases my odds). I also developed a back up list of 7 as well just in case.

      You know what they say about plans? It all good until you see the fish in the flesh! Of my top 7, I only put my name on one of them. My #1 koi had uneven beni that you couldn't see in the picture, my #2 koi (also the most popular koi with over 50 entries, mostly from the pictures) had beni that was thin right in the head and shoulder, my number 4 koi had a slight bend of the head that was hard to notice and so on. Luckily I made the back up list as the koi I ended up winning was the top koi in this list (my #8 ranked koi overall). Out of 20 chopsticks, I drew first and picked the winner! This was koi #35 in the link here:

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

      http://tanikoi.com/index.php? id=113

      For lunch we had a traditional meal of mochi (rice beaten until it forms a nice chewy, gluey, ooey texture) served with your choice of grated radish, fermented beans (natto) or in a clear miso broth with chicken pieces. So good. After lunch (they always provide you with lunch at these things), the crowd headed back to the sales area where some late arriving hobbyist were looking over the remaining koi. When Mitsunori Isa was free, I asked him which koi was the one he would've chosen and he didn't hesitate at all by pointing to koi #33 that was still in the vat. I asked him why and what he looks for in tosai. He says look for good, even beni that is not too bright and blue sumi. It's a rather plain looking 2 step that was lost in the flashy patterns and sumi that were already up on some of its siblings.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

      So I stared at it for a bit and grabbed the placard before some wisen, eagled eye hobbyist came along to take it. I looked around for any other koi that were lost in the morning's activities (not that I was seriously going to buy another koi...) and forgot about the 2nd half of the event which was a "sales". Tani had a tank of goromo tosai that he bred last year on sale as well. Boy those were nice. I made a note to get a couple of these when my time was up to come back to the US.

      Tani is also boarding a sansai Dainichi showa that I won during the Kanto-Koushin show in November. I went to check on her and she is looking great!
      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

      Here is a link to the video I made of the day:


      Notice in the video the drawing for koi #192 (my 2nd ranked koi until I saw it in the flesh). There were a lot of chopsticks in there. The hobbyist that won her had struck out all day for every other koi he wanted. Everyone was happy for him, except the other 49 that didn't win of course!

      facebook link to the pictures:
      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=8f9c2b2b7e

      This will be the last report until the All Japan Show or now called "Nishikigoi of the World" show.

      Hope you have enjoyed it. Now back to making the best yogurt in the world!

      Warmest regards,

      Duc
      Last edited by azngopher; 01-04-2015 at 10:21 PM.
      Duc
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    20. #40
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      thanks for sharing your experiences
      very interesting and very envious

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