Brocaded Koi

Artsyl Koi
Artsyl Koi

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. ~Rachel Carson

Brocade is 'a class of richly decorative shuttle woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads'. The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli", comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth", or broccare, meaning "to stud, set with nails". Henceforth comes the descriptive name "Brocaded Carp" for the fish Koi. These are fish distinct and characterized with attractive embossed like designs. For this reason they are beloved subject of creative mediums such as art, photography and fashion.

Koi Scroll by SvV
Koi Scroll by SvV

Living Jewels

They are living jewels. Some are priced like artwork, in the thousands of dollars. They are collected, showcased, photographed, painted, and for centuries have served as inspiration for jewelers and sculptors..There is nothing fishy about people's fascination for Koi. Not when you've seen them 'live', swim gracefully with their tattoo-like vivid colors in a Lily pond, or, like me, have actually watched children follow them with their eyes and get all happy. As a photographer it's been a delight for me as well, to savor these natures 'good for the soul' gift, and to capture them as so many artists have done, and still tend to do.

The history of Koi is a mystery. It is believed that the Koi are indigenous to Japan, and in fact, mistaken for “Japanese Goldfish”. There is a difference between the goldfish and Koi. Goldfish and Koi are both selections of carp, but from two different families. Goldfish are mutations from Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Koi are from common carp (Cyprinus carpio).They are believed to originate from eastern Asia, in the Black, Caspian, Aral Seas and China. Carp fossils have been discovered in South China dating as far back as 20 million years ago. The earliest written records of Koi, or Nishikigoi, (Japanese for "brocaded" carp) were first described in writing from a Chinese book written during the Western Chin Dynasty, around 265-316 A.D. At that time they were described as white, red, black and blue.

Koi are descendants of the common carp, Cyprinus Carpio. Originally native to Eastern Europe and Persia, Carp were introduced to Europe, North America, South America, Asia and other areas of the world as a commodity in trade or food. Koi are believed to have been introduced to Japan with the invading Chinese and a first account of them being kept by an emperor in Japan, apparently dates Back to AD 200. Confucius' son, born in 533 B.C., was presented a fish by King Shoko of Ro. The fish were used as the main subject in Chinese artwork and carvings and some Chinese rulers kept carp in captivity for their viewing pleasure. While there may have been natural mutations of carp which featured patches of color on them in China, the Japanese are generally recognized as the creators of Nishikigoi (Living Jewels).

Most people involved in the hobby consider the Niigata prefecture in Japan as the birthplace from which the Nishikigoi sprang. More specifically, areas in and around Ojiya City in Niigata are regarded as the home of Nishikigoi. Today there are more than 100 different color types and sub-types of Koi.

My Kois

Koi 1
Koi 1
Koi 11
Koi 11
Koi 111
Koi 111

Koi Varieties

Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation. Some of the major colors are white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream. While the possible color variations are virtually limitless, breeders have identified and named a number of specific categories. The most popular category is Gosanke, which is made up of the Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku, and Showa Sanshoku varieties.

New Koi variaties are still being actively developed. Ghost Koi were developed in the 1980s, and have become very popular in the United Kingdom. There are a hybrid of wild carp and Ogon koi, and are distinguished by their metallic scales. Butterfly Koi, also known as Longfin Koi, or Dragon Carp were also developed in the 1980s, and are notable for their long and flowing fins. They are hybrids of Koi with Asian Carp. Butterfly Koi and Ghost Koi are considered by some to be not true Nishikigoi..

Koi Names

Koi Variety
Koi Variety

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Comments 15 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Wow! What a fascinating hub! I had no idea that there were so many different varieties of Koi! Thanks for sharing this, IslandVoice! I actually have one photo of two Koi who resemble the Ying and Yang on my Harry Potter hub. Very cool. I love your paintings too by the way! You're so talented.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

Very cool IslandVoice! I love hearing about things that I know nothing about! ha

Learned a lot from this. Very nice artwork 2.....Best, GPAGE


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii Author

Dohn, always a pleasure getting a visit and having 'conversation' with you. Always so generous with your praises. Muchos gracias!

G, just got your email. Will talk more. Thanks for 'missing' me. I thought you were the one gone awol for a while? Loge and hugs to one of my fave hubbers!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Thank you for all the koi information and beautiful pictures! As a feng-shui lover I know they are supposed to bring me good luck - so I will bookmark this.

Such an appropriate quote by Rachel Carson. She warned us about how we were destroying our environment - years ago!

Thanks for all the beauty!


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii Author

Bk, may your blessings increase and beauty continue to surround your life! Thanks for bookmarking this hub. Yeah, Rachel Carson had it right on!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

i just wanted this hub to go on forever. Exotic is the word! a big thank you for sharing it with us...


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii Author

Myownworld, what a sweet thing to say. You are so cool, really! Much thanks for your comment and visit!


ixwa profile image

ixwa 6 years ago

I'd like to honest that when I first saw the word Koi, I thought about the Khoi people of South Africa. In fact, I have been schooled by your hub about information I did not know. I am glad to have checked out your hubs, and found this exotic and important information about the Koi. Now I know something I never even knew squat about. Very colorful and beautiful art collection of Koi samples and Koi names. I am going to learn most of them and boast to my son, who is very enamored by most things Japanese, especially anime art and so forth. Excellent work!


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii Author

Ixwa! I am privileged to be visited by you. But it's hard to believe, a man so learned like you didn't know about the Koi. That's really neat. Thanks!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Beautiful fish and a lovely hub


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thanks Ethel!


Hi-Jinks profile image

Hi-Jinks 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Japanese Colored Carp, great and beautiful fish. Would love to raise them in my later years.


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thanks for dropping by Hi-Jinks. May your plan be fulfilled.


milynch43 profile image

milynch43 6 years ago from Philippines

Very nice Hub. I've always been fascinated with Koi.


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thanks again Milynch! Kois are indeed works of living art

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