21

Oct 2009

Category: October 2009

Had a shock this morning when the agent handed me a list of what I had bought, im really running out of money and still have 5 days to go! The agent then asked when do I leave, I said tommorrow, she laughed and said you very funny Gary, I didnt have the heart to say it wasnt a joke! So out we headed to visit Tananka, here he had all sorts of varietys but his speciality is gin rin showa, male shinoda gin rin parent and dianichi female. Tanaka won best gin rin 35cm at the last ojiya show. When I asked if he was showing again he said yes and preceded to bowl 3 excellant gin rin showa, he pointed to one and said number one, and asked I we could buy it, the price wasnt too bad, so I thought get the price on the next two and save a bit of money (english thinking)!, the price came back and was 3 times the price, totally dumbfounded I had to ask why, he replied these two were more finished so easier to sell (japanese thinking) while the number one will be much better in the future but much harder to sell. Well I understood what he was saying and said id like to purchase the cheaper one and grow it on in the mud pond, he said yes and I was very pleased as he doesnt normally offer this. We then moved on to what he said were cheaper grade fish and we bought a bowl of shusui, midorigoi, gin rin hajiro, gin shiro utsuri, kin ki utsuri, showa, kin showa, the showa is for someone who has emailed me and asked for a showa so I hope you like it (bullit), if this is his cheaper koi then we will doing a fair bit of buisness with him in the future. Then off to Sekiguchi the showa breeder, I have heard alot about this guy and have bought his jumbo tosai before and have always been very pleased with the koi, but have never visited the farm. Well was I in for a shock, being a lover of showa I lost my breath when I went in the nisai house, outstanding quality and very good size for nisai, cannot recomend this farms quality enough, but after asking two prices I knew I was out of my depth somewhat. Looking around I found one showa and really thought it was very attractive and had a great head pattern, I had to ask the price and was very surprised, and even more surprised when they said yes to growing the koi on. Size now 40cm, expected next year 53-55, happy days..........................somewhat dazed from finding two koi in one day to grow on we went then to another breeder which I wont discuss for a day or two as im thinking about a very serious little shiro utsuri and chagoi. As these breeders where a long way off by the time we got to ojiya there was time for a quick look at marahiro who had harvested again, this guy has some serious gin rin kohaku, and then it was off to uncle hirasawa for coffee and a chat about the finer points of nishikoi and life in general, actually thats a load of rubbish but I cant really say what the conversation was about on a public blog, but through the translator he had us in fits of laughter and was a perfect end to another perfect day.

One thing I will say, there is a box of very special little fish for people who want something to grow on, ill explain more later...........

20

Oct 2009

Category: October 2009

Woke up to a wet and dreary day but I wasnt going to let that get me down. Two customers wanted a very nice gin rin soragoi, so with that in mind we headed off to Hosakai round the otherside of Ojiya, when we arrived the soragoi wearnt quiet up to what we wanted, so after all recieving about 100 mozzie bites each we were keen to get away, as we were leaving I noticed an out side pond with green water and what looked like huge koi in, the breeder came out and explained just very big fish, he said around 65cm but we thought bigger so we bought a large asagi and gin matsuba for a very resonable price hoping to fullfil a order for two large koi! A drive round the corner to suda and I have to say was quiet impressed with the quality of some of the showa there, aoki next and he was out so then came an early lunch. A drive back to mushigame to visit nagashima who had a lovely selection of showa, very nice guy and good quality koi who deserves more people going there than he gets. After an afternoon of breeders being busy or out harvesting the day looked like just the big fish, everyone who breeds hi utsuri seemed to be out or not have harvested yet, frustrating when you have three orders to find. The agent then suggested we try shinoda, I like shinodas koi, but over the last few years the prices have been too high, or the quality has sold out. This time it was neither and we had two sansai females, around 50 and 55cm, and also took advatage and bought 5 nisai of around 40cm in case the two sansai were just too big for the orders. As most people know im not a lover of doitsu koi but I saw some lovely doitsu showa, a very good price and nice quality so I thought why not, and for good measure found a very attractive gin rin hi showa as well. Very happy to be buying this guys koi again as the quality was good and the prices good as well.

19

Oct 2009

Category: October 2009

Apologise to those waiting for news or to read the blog, half way through the work I fell asleep at the pc and wiped the blog out, thought id better lay down for a while and stayed there for five hours! For those who have been out here you know after a few days you have a day where you just cant stay awake or fight off the yawns, today was that day! The day started with a clear sky and by 9am we were off on the hunt for non go sanke for orders, just as we got to the mountains I remembered we hadnt played the lucky cd, with sweet home alanbama blareing out of the car the signs were looking good. First stop to Otsuka, where I saw a couple of non go sanke orders and then disaster struck, saw a stunningly white gin rin tancho sanke in the sansai pond I knew I had to have, before you could say non go sanke it was in the bowl and purchased, but we needed to make the box up so to make myself feel better I found a nice ochiba and red eye kigoi, people had asked for them so that pleased me as well. A visit to Otsuka is a must he turns up the most unuasual koi and sometimes can be very good with the prices. The agent then suggested that we try Sakai for a quality nisai that a customer had ordered, I said we wont get much for the budget there, I thought if we get one koi there ill be happy, how wrong we were, sakai was explained to about how the pound was weak and he said no problem and found a few, I was quiet happy with what he offerd in a bowl, untill I saw a nidan pattern with great body and skin and pointed at that, he made that sound that only the japanese can make, somewhere between a growl and a grumble and I knew I was in trouble, not to be detered Ii pushed for the price and he said it was more expensive, and I think he must have seen the look on my face and he asked the agent would we buy more koi today, seeing the closure of the deal I nodded and he said, same price, done! While in the farm I saw a very nice pond of koi, he laughed and said very high quality, gave me the price and i nearly passed out, they were only about 35cm -40cm, again my face said it all, and he said high quality again and grabbed a net and showed me one. These were very good and before I knew it I had 3 in the bowl with the idea of may be purchasing one, he said they were so good we could buy one and leave it in Japan, then before I knew it the agent had done a deal for all 3!!!!!! I said hold on a minute and was duly told to shut up!!!! (somtimes you have to leave the agent to do thier job) when the agent came back and gave me the deal and said buy all three take one for the mud ponds and two to england, the price was so good I said ok but can we leave all three, and sakai said no problem (this is usually a good sign as the breeders will not give up mud pond space for fish they believe doesnt have a future) so all 3 were purchased to be grown on. Earlier on I had seen a pond of nice koi but not of the quality we had just bought, he gave me a price and I thought these cant be that good and again how wrong I was, as he netted a few I couldnt believe that quality that was there for what I thought was a standard price. 11 koi later including showa, gin rin showa, shiro utsuri, sanke gin rin sanke I was one happy camper. Dinner at Sakai in the form of curry noodles and we were off on the trail of non go sanke, first stop at yagenji but they were still out harvesting but had some stunning 3 year shiros in so we will be going back, then off to iwashita were there were some seriously high quality of many many varietys, having a reputattion for quality and high prices I asked the price of some sansai and was very pleasently surprised, but the varietys I was looking for were not there. Popped in to kawakami, the king off the non go sanke but there was a large american party and they seemed to be buying the whole place up so we moved on. Hirasawa called and said come over for coffee, so we did on the hope for some higher quality hi utsuri, but when we got there he had sold them all! the son came over and said why not come over and look at my koi, he had some very nice gin rin kohaku, and a price was agreed, also saw a stunning gin matsuba which I know a few people are looking for, and then he said we needed one more for the box, before I knew it he had a sanke in the bowl which I had nearly bought a few days ago, I remembered it was three times the price and I shook my head, he said no problem same price and shook my hand and put a can of beer in my pocket, what a gentleman, you cant argue with a closure like that!!!!!! As we got in the car the agent asked if I was happy, and I had to say I was, then the agent replied not many go sanke though and laughed, as I joined in laughing my thoughts returned to last year when the hunt for kujaku became an obsession, was this going to be the same way for non go sanke for me .............the hunt for a day of non go sanke contiunues ...................

To be left in Japan

This is also to be left in Japan

Happy days - Yamatsu Koi Farm generations of matsuaoske

18

Oct 2009

Category: October 2009

Today was a busy day in Niigata, with the famous sakai auction and a show going on it was always going to be hard finding people around. The plan for today was to pick up all the non go sanke orders, as usual the best laid plans..............One breeder to watch for the future is the son of Hirasawa, his quality is getting better every year. We started of with some smaller nisai 30-38cm, many varieys available and we tried to pick the orders first but things change as always. The hariwake is reserved for a customer and just within the budget so two of us are happy! The breeder then had to leave quickly to judge the koi show. On our way to mushigame we deciede to call at marasaka, he was away harvesting but the agent called him and he was happy to come back. I really like this place all the family are very friendly and more to the point his sanke are old style jimbei blood line. There was a pond with some nice sansai all female, we bought a very nice sanke, tancho sanke (sumi is so thick and strong and he says more will come), a very clean kujaku with a nice pattern which the father said will grow over 80 cm, and then lastly a sanke which had secondary hi on the face but its what Peter Barnes would call a project, I just liked the big sumi so typical of jimbei so I thought id buy her anyway and see what can be done (Pete can you give me a ring, I need a quick favour............lol) From here it was on to hiroi and hoping that he had some nice showa, sadly he diddnt, but we managed to buy 4 more sanke, very thick beuatiful sumi and very good skin, even though you could see that they had just been harvested unfortuantley the photos dont show the skin and colours clearly. One thing that did surprise me here was that the breeder would not commit to sexing the nisai, he said to early, guess thats why he had a few male sansai knocking around. Then we bowled a fantastic sanke, 60cm female, sansai, a very good price but again the pound is still not in our favour so it made it a bit tight, but we havnt finsihed with the negotiations, steve the cabby (south london) watch this space I know you said nisai, but what the hell!!!! Also have the shiro as well now Steve! Early day as it was sunday so on the way back we saw hirasawa and said we were looking for some benigoi and he said we have some, nisai 50 -55cm, so guess were we are going tommorrow. So although a quiet day we have seen some bigger and better fish and made plans for tommorrow, I know people are keen to see the prices go up on the sale pages please bare with us im hoping to start pricing in the next 24 hours.

17

Oct 2009

Category: October 2009

First stop today was Hoshikins, a very serious kohaku breeder indeed. On this ocasion we purchased many nisai of varying qualities including quiet a few three stop kohaku. (so those who asked please email asap!!!!). After this we looked at some higher grade nisai with a view to leave out in Japan, but we havnt made a desicion on whether to buy or not (video of these included). Then the day just got better and better, from Hoshikins to another favourite breeder Yagenji, here there where many varietys and superb range of quality to fit all budgets. Three shiro utsuri were purchased from his better quality ponds for a customer in London, three to chose from, hows that! Also 3 male and one female showa just becuase I liked them, very reasonable prices for nisai, great skin and great colours. A short drive (about 100 yards) from Yagenji took us to Sakai, so many koi, so many people! So we will have to look again later as he is a must for Sanke and one special sanke we are looking for. Lunch at the noodle bar and with curried rice again, I have often wondered if such a small noodle bar was ever talked about so much all around the world! Then a flying visit to Kaneco where we looked at an incredable shiro utsuri for one of the dutch guys, this really was a special little nisai, skin to die for and a pattern to match! Now the worrying part, a chance to go to Torazo to see how the nisai kohaku I had left out there had faired on its journey to sansai, I neednt have worried as it looked great, left out at around 39cm she has grown to 55cm, have to say ...............very pleased!!!!!!!! Hope you enjoy the video Graham, and to answer the question this is coming home! While at Torazo I couldnt let the chance of picking a few more pass by, male tancho showa, female sanke and kohaku and also thinking about two higher grade koi that we have been offered. After a long day it was decided to head off for somthing to eat, and a quick phone call to see if a higher grade tancho showa had been sold at another breeder that someone else was looking at, good news is that it hadnt so an appointment was made to go there sunday morning.

A few of the hoshikin kohaku selected today.

Yageni nisai shiro

sansai kohaku that has been grown on for us at torazo.

three more nisai from torazo