Koi Fish - Curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

The Koi fish they are the colorful ornamental carp originating in Japan. These fish are a common symbol of Japanese and Chinese culture. Often depicted in artwork, tattoos, clothing and even used for landscaping. They are considered animals smart, and may even be trained.

Some legends and meanings surround these carp. They can be recognized as symbols of courage and perseverance. In Japan, even big kois fish events take place. Every year, for example, breeders of these carp come together and promise exhibitions, contests and even auctions. Let us now know more about the history of this beautiful animal.

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Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

In addition to koi (鯉) Japanese carp are called nishikigoi (錦鯉) mainly because they are colorful and used as decorations in ponds and aquatic gardens. Japanese carp are symbols of love and friendship, as the word love or passion is also pronounced koi (恋).

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History and curiosities of koi fish

Koi fish are a mutation of the common carp, usually brown in color. His creations were prevalent in China. But when Chinese invaded Japan, these fish were bred mainly for food. They were very adaptable to Japanese conditions. It was then that the Japanese noticed the ornamental potential of the fish. And then they started to create them to bring different colors, something that the Chinese did not do.

Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

They noticed that depending on the circumstances, common carp changed color. This mutation is something spontaneous of the animal. Sometime between 1820 and 1830 the Japanese already noticed small color variations and some carp and then created "Mutants". From these mutations came the famous koi fish.

The popularity of Japanese Koi fish grew rapidly. Even though in other countries their beauty was not noticed, in Japan it became the most desired fish. More than one hundred types of Koi fish have been recorded since their creation, grouped into thirteen general classes.

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Carp grow according to the size of the place they are raised. If it is created in a small place, it will not exceed 7cm.

Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

Classes and Koi varieties

  • Asagi - body with blue and gray scales with red abdomen parts, the head must be a light blue;
  • Bekko - koi with black color patterns on the back with a red, white or yellow background;
  • Goshiki - literally means five colors, white, black, red, blue and dark blue;
  • Hariwake - silver body with orange or yellow patterns;
  • Kawairmono - this is a term to define those that do not fit any of the recognized standards;
  • Kohaku - white body with red parts;
  • Koromo - white body with blue or black scales, over reddish patterns;
  • Kumonryu - white body with patterns and details in black;
  • Matsuba - net-shaped pattern across the body, usually metallic base color;
  • Ogon - Solid and standard color throughout the body;
  • Sanke - white body with red and black details, with no black on the head;
  • Showa - black body with white and red body patterns;
  • Shusui - white body with blue scales on the dorsal and the bottom reddish;
  • Tancho - white body on the body with a red circle on the head;

Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

These fish should only be raised in large ponds or farms. To stay healthy, good water quality is required. Filtration systems must be used to maintain this water. A well-kept koi has a life expectancy of around 50 to 70 years. But, there are reports of Koi fish over 200 years old.

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The legends and references of the carp

According to legend, the kois should reach the source of the Huang Ho River, which was high on a mountain. The kois needed to swim through valleys full of currents and waterfalls and waterfalls. The legend continues that, the carp that managed to overcome all difficulties and reached the top would become a Dragon.

Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

Because of such a legend, the kois rising usually represent strength, courage and determination to achieve goals and overcome difficulties. In the meantime, the carp coming down means goals that have been achieved or accomplished. Such symbols and meanings are often depicted in the form of tattoos.

If you've watched pokemon or played a game in this franchise, maybe you know the pokemon called Magikarp. This pokemon is inspired by a carp and its legend. Initially he is very weak, but as he evolves he becomes a big and strong dragon called Gyarados. This is a clear reference to the legend of the Koi fish.

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Did you already know the origin story or the legend of the Koi fish? Tell us in the comments and share with friends.