Ogawa Kohaku

With kind permission of KINSAI SHUPPAN.
This extract is from an issue of NISHIKIGOI monthly, May 1992

OGAWA KOHAKU highest quest of white skin

The origin of OGAWA kohaku was from OSHITA lineage in the KOGURIYAMA area of NIGATA.
In round 1965 Mr.OSHITA suddenly quit KOI farming soon after his lineage had become established. He sold all of his stock to MIYAKOYA (biggest brokerage place in NIGATA)
OGAWA's deceased older brother purchased most of the better grade KOI.
He heard MIYAISHI and HANSUKE also purchased some of these.
His guess was that OSHITA KOHAKU were the children or grandchildren of TOMOIN KOHAKU and must be close with YAGOZEN lineage.
(The riddle was solved recently by NISHIKIGOI magazine over a 10 years series, it reports that any successful KOHAKU lineage's are originally from TOMOIN blood, such as DAINICHI, HOSHIKIN and SENSUKE)

Since he brought the OSHITA lineage he has never introduced any other lineage.
Other famous KOHAKU breeders normally spawn 10 ~20 pairs, but OGAWA breeds from just a couple pairs every year unless he has a failed spawning. He does not have the capacity to breed from more pairs and he thinks the quality of the one's he uses are very good.

His older brother selected the parent KOI from the OSHITA lineage, which were brought from KOGURIYAMA.
He had many male KOI of a type called KUROMAKKA (blackish deep red).

My additional explanation...

In the 1960's there were no colour enhancing food at that time but an old koi farmer said that KOI of that time had much deeper red than the best results of colour enhanced recent KOHAKU.
If you see the book written by Mr.Amano. "General Survey of Fancy Carp" which is popular book in UK published in1968 the back cover shows a male KOHAKU of this type of KOI.
This type of KOI must have had a big roll in the process of establishing any major KOHAKU lineage, which looks for better BENI quality.

But since breeders look for size and colour, after the introduction of Colour enhancer foods, this type of KOI has disappeared in the last 30years.

In NIGATA farmers say the best females to breed from have thin type silk skin and males a thick type rough skin is needed but Ogawa used thin type silk skin for both male and female.
He described that when he compares 2 male KOI to breed which have the same BENI quality and one has slightly yellowish skin and another has a deep white skin then it's simple, he always chooses the deep white type.

OGAWA KOHAKU's main policy is background is most important.
His lineage characteristic has the same deep white skin quality from nose to tail.
Even the best white skin KOHAKU from other lineage are slightly yellowish around face
If you remember a legendary former grand champ called Loran has completely white skin from nose to the end.

The way of culling at OGAWA is simple he picks good patterned KOI with white skin.
With babies from other lineage such as SENSUKE the BENI increases between 1st and 2nd cull, but OGAWA KOHAKU do not change their pattern, but he says KATATSUKI (the appearing rate of patterned KOI) is not good, when we look for skin quality we can't also expect good KATATSUKI at the same period in time.

Many people will remember the final chapter in the life of HEIKICHI OGAWA. He died in hospital (of cancer) just after receiving the news, that Loran had been awarded Grand Champion at the 1990 All Japan Show.

His brother YUKICHI OGAWA inherited the koi farm.

OGAWA KOI farm is located in SASEBO city NAGASAKI prefecture KYUSHU island which was started by HEIKICHI OGAWA.

They produce KOHAKU and SANKE. Also their deep yellow YAMABUKI OGON is known to have unbeatable quality. *Other farms produce pale yellow examples in comparison.

                                            These photos are of OGAWA breeding stock at around 1985







                                    1990 and 1992 All Japan Koi Show

Grand Champion (Loran)

                                                  Photo copyright 1992 Kinsai Shuppan co.jp.

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Copyright Maurice Cox 2003