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TATEGOI
"From Good Parents..."
By Joel Burkard/Pan Intercorp

The pursuit of the art of finishing tategoi takes each of us down many different paths, but Noboru Yoshizaki's story is truly unique and fascinating. Mr. Yoshizaki is a hobbyist from Kagawa in Japan who utilizes a flow-through system in finishing young koi to show condition. He uses a 530 gallon cement pond for finishing his young koi and says that because "show koi" are so expensive, he prefers to purchase a lot of inexpensive koi that he can attempt to finish by himself. For the past ten years, he has also been breeding some of his own koi along with a fellow hobbyist.

In the spring of 1993 Mr. Yoshizaki chose a two year old male Kohaku of the Maruyama bloodline purchased from Miyabe Yorijyo in Kagawa, and a four year old female Sanke bred by Yamaguchi Yorijyo in Niigata, to use as brood stock for spawning his "home grown" sanke.

 

Parents

Parents
Kohaku and Sanke
Spring 1993

 

Siblings

Siblings
Sanke (center)
4 months old, 6 inches

 

The second photo shows the 6 inch sanke at four months old in the center of a group with several brothers and sisters. Although the four step kohaku pattern is evident, the beni (red) is still blurry and there is merely the faintest blue hint of sumi (black), similar to a young goshiki.

From January to May of 1994, the sumi began to come up quite rapidly and the both the beni and kiwa (edges of the red) became well-finished. At just over 7 inches and a full one year old, the sanke was obviously in "show condition" but as most of the koi shows in Japan are held between November and April, Mr. Yoshizaki's sanke had to wait for it's public debut. Note in this photo that the small, redundant spot of beni on the tail stop has disappeared making a crisp finish to the overall pattern.

 

Sanke

Sanke
1 year old, 7 inches

 

Sanke

Sanke
Summer 1994

 

Sanke

Sanke
9 1/2 inches
December 1994

 

Sanke

Sanke
January 1995

 

As this koi continued to grow during the warm summer months, the sumi became blurry and started to recede. This phenomenon is quite common, especially with young koi. The real challenge is getting the sumi to reestablish itself when the cooler weather comes.

By December of '94 the sanke had grown to nine and a half inches and was well on the way to being finished again. Note in this photo that although the black has reemerged it is subtly different than it was seven months earlier, in both shape and position.

In January of this year, Mr. Yoshizaki entered his sanke in the 25bu Sanke category of the 27th All Japan Combined Koi Show never dreaming what the outcome would be. To place at all in this show is a feat that eludes most koi keepers, but this "home grown" sanke received the highest possible recognition of Kokugyo-sho (Grand Prize) Yogyo (Child Carp) Division.

Mr. Yoshizaki's accomplishment serves as an inspiration to us all, proving that perseverance and a true love of koi are the only real requirement for success.