There are so few literature existed about Nishikigoi breeding, it is however in the back of year A.D. 720 only Nihonsyoki stated that Keikou tennnou (Emperor)saw Nishikigoi in the Kukuriyano miya pond and also Suiko tennnou (Emperor) year of A.D. 620 that he saw the Nishikigoi swimming in the Pond of Sogano Umeko's pond on the Garden as well.
1) Geographical environment
In the age of no road is well prepared for mass transportation the ship is utilized as one of the way to carry mass volume goods.
It is understood that the river running southern Niigata Prefecture Uono gawa river,for instance,also it is utilized for carring daily life goods and also it includes local products and fishes for commercial bases.
One of local town and city who has historiography museum, where you will be able to see ancient fishing tools and farming tools so that they tell some kind of trade among towns and cities in local district.
It is told also in the winter ship is useless so the river should have been crowded to carry / to pass the winter goods and salmon fishing vessel before comming winter/snow seasons.
Under these environments river fishes are treated as fresh fish and also sold as processed food to the other local region.
The origin of Nishikigoi,Yamakoshi hamlet is deeper snowy place in mountain area where faces to Kita Uonuma county and snow pile up to over five(5) meters,one one(1)meter or more snow falling over a night is often experienced.
In January the snow month,communication often disconnected even with adjacent villages.
The Nishikigoi for food is a valuable source of Protein under these severe meteorogical conditions and they are kept in a farming pond in the summer time for building seeds of Nishikigoi.
It is also so called TANADA (Terraced Paddy Fields) breeding, this way keep continuing from ancient time and from the year around 1970 the pond was converted to breeding pond for adjustment on the rice productions policy,it is thought the rice terrace breeding will be continued until such time the rice farming policy is changed.
The kind of fish is rich in Uono Gawa river which being start flowing Mt. Tanigawa dake summit in boarder of Gunnma and Niigata prefecture.
The quality of water is fine and just fit for breeding so the Nishikigoi captured is further developped and trade activities followed before snow falling.
The Koi for food is MAGOI and three different kind and the ASAGI MAGOI is majority in this region then TETSUMAGOI and DOROMAGOI can not be seen.
In this category,the relation with MAGOI is deeper and evolution from ASAGI MAGOI has longer history, by mutation in latter Edo era AOI KOI was born and this leads to ASAGI Koi.
BY way of Jyu Ni Daira Gawa river the origin of Uono Gawa river start flow and TETSUMAGOI carried to Yamakoshi hamlet wuth HI GOI products a key of born the KOHAKU.
It is referred to us that the word origin of UONO being AINU word of 500 ponds and it means the place with many ponds.
The era of war in Japan, Nitta Yoshisada changed the name to IONUMA and in the MEIJI era the district on Kita Uonuma ,Minami Uonuma and Naka Uonuma gunn were consolidated and governed as one.
The area in this region testifys the existence of many ponds such name as Wanagashima,Aosima,and Shimojima and local name that conveys word/name of island (Shima) and surrounding on them piling up of soil makes farming land and they lead living people around in longer history.
The stratums on the Uono Gawa vicinity is much of gravel so the ASAGI Koi conveyed by Uonuma fits to Yamakoshi county's stratums and his quality of water and moreover it is said that the changement of the color tone is essential matter to live the fish having a factor to have imperfect protection color for which gives effectiveness on Nishikigoi's born.
2) The history of Nishiki Goi.
The Nishikigoi ASAGI carried into Yamakoshi hamlet by Uonuma district being strange kind in this region and it was told that wealthy farmer wanted but due to clay quality of water the residual Blue color on the back close to white with no color is most of them which is quite differ from remaining on Uonuma district.
Due to this, ASAGI Koi tend to be breed together with KOI for food, it is however this leads accidental happening to born Nishikigoi.
The TETSUMAGOI was breeding for food in the farming pond in Yamakoshi hamlet,the HIGOI happened to born by close relation crossbreeding and being treated as present on a happy events.
It is however,around end of Edo era year 1818-1829 red color with white body among white colored MIZU ASAGI and HIGOI were emerged.
Based upon this ,ancestor of a kind of KOHAKU born in MEIJI era but on year 1830-1843 emerged NIshikigoi with half red color on the head and also red color around a mouth.
On year 1874-1875, Beni Hakusyu (variety) based light rouge type was emerged and it was dispersed locally.
On year 1899, Mr. Kunizou Hiroi, Yamakoshi Higasiyama village developed and fixed the kind,and its family is distributed in the local district,also improvement was carried and finally KOHAKU was completed.
And, moreover some activities were carried between KOHAKU and Koi with Aka Kuro pattern by close relation crossbreeding,and TAISYOU SANSYOKU,Taisyou era year 1917 and also KUROKO ,RAN GI were born which leaded the kind of Koi now a day.
On the way to improve the kind for the Nishikigoi,the German Koi accelerated its activities much.
Fourty fishes with AISYU GURTEN kind were presented by Dr. Buruno Hopha of Fish Disease Laboratory in Munich Germany to Mr. Shinnnosuke Matsubara of Fishery Training Chef and they were given to Nagano prefecture mainly to improvement on KOi for food.
Of the two, Mr. Kichigorou Akiyama in Fukagawa Tokyo did crossbreeding it with ASAGI and got DOITSU(German)ASAGI this is called SYUU SUI and also by crossbreeding among SYUU SUI,KOHAKU and Taisyou SANSYOKU goes via decade of generation the KAGAMI UROKO and TAISYOU SANN SYOKU on the DOITSU KOHAKUwere developped.
The unique on the DOITSU (German) is that it has the strong heredity and being relayed to its type the KAGAMI UROKO, KAWAGOI with no scale and also so called WAGOI and its intermidiate type of YOROI GOI for which there are three types.
Whichever the body shape is contrast from WARINN and they are brought up for keeping superior body shape with efficient feeding developed for which the DOITSUGOI was essential KOI indeed and moreover All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association takes a role to supervise the Nishikigoi exhibition under the indipendent division.
Talking to the NISHIKIGOI after year 1945,the development on OUGON,KIN GINN RINN and its fixing of type is essential and can not be aside.
On year 1947, the new one with OUGON GOI features the chest fin/gold leaf was developped by Mr. Sawata Aoki,Yamakoshi Takezawa village(now Nagaoka city).
The show up of this Golden colored Koi gave astonishiment to breeder in Yamakoshi hamlet/village,it is however,evolution were advanced rapidly in 50 years.
The blood having golden colored Nishikigoi has now 26 varieties and the one who produced/developed could be memorized forever.
Also, person who did the settlement on gold and silver scale to promote Nishikigoi as splendid and elegantly would need recording in the history.
In year 1965, the Nishikigoi that has scales with gold colors and silver which have not have over neck thru tail was developed by Mr. Uedera.
Many of breeders have introduced Silver Scale,and made crossbreeding with KOHAKU, TAISYOU SANSYOKU,SYOWA SANSYOKU and further crossbreeding with golden system would accelerate evolution.
The activities on Nishikigoi to improve stands by settlement of a kind, introduction of German Koi to get Goldengoi and also settlement of Gold Silver scale,the history stands also by its application on them.
The kind tells that biological stand point,like as HIKARI MUJI system,all the child fishes born by the same mother Koi should have the same character classification, but in Nishikigoi world a kind classification is the name of heredity expression and it is not saying by a kind determination.
Presently,there are 82 different kind of Nishikigoi and breeders are pursuing splendid and elegent expression's.
All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association has over 16 countries with about 70 professional members ,the Nishikigoi as Japan Nationa fishes being exported over 40 countries and we expect the Nishikigoi takes a role as visitor's with peace mission over the world keeping good communication among peoples.
3) Nishikigoi Competitive Exhibition and its significance
The said competitive Exhibition was opened in order to exhibit the products by breeders in back year 1912,it was opened at elementary school at Kawaguchi town,Kita Uonuma Gunn in Niigata prefecture,in year 1914,Nishikigoi were exhibited in Tokyo as Taisyou Exhibition for which it is told us it is the first Nishikigoi exhibition in Japan wide.
By the trigger on the exhibition,breeding associations were establishied in Higashi Murayama, Takezawa Mura, and Ohta Mura village for which they run the exhibition yearly bases in turn.
It is also told that some of local activities such time that harvesting crops in autumn open small sized competitive exhibition.
It is thought after activities were took place any breeders could participate freely to such exhibition so the Nishikigoi breeding activities were spread over Niigata prefecture.
The Nishikigoi competition was not took place during war,but in order to make reconstruction many of local did the exhibition in parallel with reconstruction activities.
The first competitive exhibition in Niigata prefecture took place on year 1962, the Nagaoka city is one of frequent and the competition now count for 53rd as of year 2006.
The city who opened Nishikigoi Competitive Exhibition so far ranked Nagaoka city,Yamakoshi village (now Nagaoka city),and Kawaguchi town who runs 45 times and for Hiroshima prefecture with 42 times.
The exhibition runs prefecture bases so the breeder get together to demonstrate their products and have a meeting opportunities to information exchange.
As the other association, Zen Nippon sougou Nishikigoi competition by Zen Nippon Rinn Yuukai and also Zen Nippon Ai Rin Kai competition are also run so the Nishikigoi is now dispatching Japan national fishes with terminology of Nishikigoi are all Japanese word.
The competitive exhibition now opens frequently in overseas with Nishikigoi exported from Japan and also born oversea locally and got higher level of appreciation.
Author: Mr. Satoru Hoshino