Koi Encyclopedia

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Welcome to the color koi encyclopedia, describing the different koi breeds and koi-related terms.

Nishikigoi have been called the national fish of Japan. Hundreds of years ago in the mountains of Niigata, the farmers in the village of Yamakoshi noticed a red carp swimming among the black carp that they raised to supplement their diet of rice and vegetables.

Through the years and through selective breeding, Japanese breeders have created the over 100 named varieties of Nishikigoi that we see today.

Nishikigoi are available in sizes anywhere from four inches to over three feet long and can be kept in a wide variety of situations, from small aquariums to large outdoor ponds.

Today, Nishikigoi are bred not only in their place of origin, Niigata, but all over Japan, and are exported all over the world. Nishikigoi continue to gain worldwide popularity as the ultimate pond or garden fish.

As Nishikigoi were developed in Japan, the language of Nishikigoi is Japanese. Japanese is used not only to name the varieties, but also for many of the terms used to describe their colors and traits.

Often referred to as Living Jewels or works of art, I hope that you too may discover the joy of koi keeping and the beauty of Nishikigoi.

Click on START to begin learning about the different breeds of koi, or page down and select the specific breed you are interested in. Most of all, have fun.

Koi Breed Index

This site was created by Eduard Freeman.
Photo's and text are from "Koi Ichi Ban (Japan)"

© Copyright 1996-1998 By 
Eduard Freeman