Koi fish – Curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

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You koi fish are the colorful ornamental carp originally from Japan. These fish are a common symbol of Japanese and Chinese culture. Often depicted in artwork, tattoos, clothing and even used for landscaping. are considered animals smart, and can even be trained.

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

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 water gardens. Japanese carp are symbols of love and friendship, as the word love or passion is also pronounced koi (恋).

History and facts about the koi fish

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

Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

They noticed that depending on the circumstances, the common carp would change color. Being that this mutation is something spontaneous of the animal. Sometime between 1820 and 1830 the Japanese already noticed slight variations in colors and some carp and so they created "mutants". From these mutations came the famous koi fish.

Very quickly the popularity of the Japanese Koi fish grew. Even if in other countries their beauty was not noticed, in Japan they became the most desired fish. More than one hundred types of Koi fish have been recorded since their creation, and these are grouped into thirteen general classes.

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

Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

classes and koi varieties

  • Asagi – body with blue and gray scales with red parts on the abdomen, the head should 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 bluish or black scales, over reddish patterns;
  • Kumonryu – white body with black patterns and details;
  • matsuba – net-shaped pattern across the body, usually metallic base color;
  • Ogon – Solid color and pattern throughout the body;
  • Sanke – white body with red and black details, with no black on the head;
  • showa – black body with patterns throughout the body in white and red;
  • Shusui – white body with blue scales on the back and reddish underside;
  • 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, you need good water quality. Filtration systems must be used to maintain this water. A well-groomed koi has a life expectancy of around 50 to 70 years. But, there are reports of Koi fish over 200 years old.

The legends and references of the carp

According to legend, the koi had to reach the source of the Huang Ho River that was on top of a mountain. The koi had to swim through valleys filled with streams and waterfalls and cascades. The legend continues that the carp that managed to overcome all the difficulties and reach the top would become a Dragon.

Koi fish - curiosities and legends of Japanese carp

Because of such a legend, koi rising usually represent strength, courage and determination to achieve goals and overcome difficulties. Meanwhile, carp descending signify goals that have been achieved or accomplished. Such symbols and meanings are often portrayed in the form of tattoos.

if you already watched pokemon or played any game of this franchise, maybe you know the pokemon called magikarp. This pokemon is inspired by a carp and its legend. Initially he is quite weak, but as he evolves, he becomes a large and strong dragon called Gyarados. This is a clear reference to the legend of the Koi fish.

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

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