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Professor Russell the Friendly Koi says: "The hand pronunciation guide will help you "sound out" the Japanese Koi words and terms."
Glossary of Koi Related Words

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Koi Colors

Russell Watergardens & Koi is your definitive source for education, high quality filtration systems, and high quality Nishikigoi

Pronunciation Guide:

 a - pronounced ah, as in paw or draw     ei - pronounced aye, as in bay, play
 e - pronounced eh, as in spend or friend     oi - pronounced oye, as in toy, boy
 i - pronounced ee, as in bee, he, tree     oa - pronounced oh ah, as in boa
 o- pronounced oh, as in tow, oak     oo - pronounced oo, as in who, boo
 u - pronounced uu, as in moo, who     ui - pronounced wee, as in tree, bee
 r - sometimes pronounced like the letter "d"     ji - pronounced gee, as in bungi
 ai - pronounced eye, as in pie, fly     jy - pronounced jah, as in draw, jaw
 ao - pronounced ah oh     ryu - pronounced droo, as in Andrew

Ago Sumi - (ah-go SOO me) Sumi (black) on gills.

Ai – (eye) blue or indigo color.

Aigoromo – (eye go ROW mow) A Goromo (Koromo) koi with blue or indigo reticulation.  Basically a Kohaku whose red scales have blue semicircular borders, giving the koi a reticulated pattern.

Ai Showa(eye SHOW wah) A Showa koi with blue or indigo speckles.

Aizumi - (eye ZOO me) 'Blue' sumi tinged with indigo (blue).

Aka - (AH kah)  Entire red body

Aka Bekko - (AH kah BECK koh) A red koi with black markings.

Aka hana - (AH kah HAH nah) Red nose.

Aka Hajiro - (AH ka ha JEE row) A red koi with white tips to the pectoral and caudal fins.

Akamuji or Aka Muji - (AH kah MOO jee) Light red koi.

Akame -  (AH kah may) An eye with a red iris. Most often seen in Kigoi.
Aka Matsuba - (AH kah maht SOO bah) A red koi with a black 'pine-cone' pattern in the scales along the back.

Aka Sanke - (AH kah SAHN keh) Hi (red) covers almost entire head and body.

Akebi(ah KEH bee) light blue
Albino - (Al BY no) A strain usually demonstrated by red eyes.

All Japan Nishikigoi Show - by Zen Nippon Airinkai (ZNA) - Japan's largest and most respected koi show - respected world wide.
Ami - (ah ME) Net.
Amime - (ah ME meh) Mesh or 'eyes' of scales in a net pattern.
Aragoke - (ah rah GO keh) Large armour scales.

Arashi Kumo - (ah RAH shee KOO moh) translates into "Storm Clouds".  This term describes a "storm cloud" like black pattern.  It is a mix of sumi, kage sumi (shadow) and white that all work together to create the "storm cloud" effect.

Asagi - (ah SAH gee) A gray-blue reticulated scaled koi with hi (red) along the lateral lines, cheeks and in the fins.
Asagi Hi - (ah SAH gee HEE) Secondary, undesirable hi (red) appearing as freckles below the lateral line.
Asagi Magoi - (ah SAH gee MAH goy) An early ancestor of the modern Asagi.
Atama ga hageru - (ah TAH mah gah HAH geh roo) Clearness of head, clean, clear head.
Atama - (ah TAH mah) Head crown.
Ato - (AH toh) Late-appearing (i.e. referring to sumi; ato sumi).

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


 

Bekko - (BEH koh) Single solid color of white, red or yellow koi with black markings.
Beni - (BEN ee) Describes deep solid red.
Beni Kujaku - (BEN ee koo JAH koo) An orange-red Kujaku with red markings all over the body.
Benigoi - (BEN ee goy) A non metallic red koi, resembling Akamuji but with a deeper red coloration.

Beni Kumonryu - (BEN ee koo mahn droo) Kumonryu with red markings.
Beret Hi - (BEH reh HEE) Asymmetrical head hi (red) on one side only.
Beta-gin - (BEH tah deen) The finest type of Kinginrin (gin rin), where the whole surface of each scale sparkles.
Bire - (BEE reh) 'Fire', a name used for the specific red patterning on Asagi and Shusui.
Boke - (BOH kee) Undeveloped Showa sumi.
Boke Showa - (BOH kee SHOW wah) A popular form of Showa, with blurred, grayish sumi - netting sumi.
Bongiri - (Bohn GEE ree) The head hi does not come far enough towards the nose.
Bozu - (boh ZOO) No hi on the head, bald head.
Bu - (boo) Size division.
Budo - (BOO doh) Arrangement of colored scales resembling a bunch of grapes.
Budo Goromo - (BOO doh go ROW mow) A koi with a purplish, grape like pattern or patterns on its white body.
Budo Sanke - (BOO doh SAHN keh) A koi with a pattern resembling that of Budo Goromo combined with solid black markings.
Bunka Sanke - (BOON ka SAHN keh) A blue Sanke with shiny pectoral fins, Seen only as a baby koi. 

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Cha - (chah) Brown.
Chagoi -  (CHAH goy) Non metallic light brown koi.
Chigyo - (CHEEG yoh) Unsorted fry.
Chupa - (CHOO pah) Medium quality fish.

Caudal fin - (KAH dal) Tail fin.

Colors - Koi Colors:

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Dagoi - (DAH goy) Poor quality fish.
Dainichi - (dye NEE chee) Famous Go-Sanke lineage of koi.
Dangara - (dahn GAH rah) A stepped pattern on the body of a koi, also known as Danmoyo.
Danmoyo - (dahn MOW yow) Step pattern.

Doh - (doh) Trunk, or body.

Doh Hi - (doh hee) Hi on the body.

Doh Zumi - (doh zoo mee) Sumi on the body.
Doitsu - (DOYT zoo) German koi that are not fully scaled, usually with a row of scales along each lateral line and a row on either side of the dorsal fin.
Doitsu Kujaku - (DOYT zoo koo JAH koo) A platinum koi with red markings over its body and black markings in the scales along the dorsal and lateral lines only.

Doitsu Yamato Nishiki - (DOYT zoo YAH mah toh nee SHEE kee) A scaleless metallic Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke).  Also known as Heisie Nishiki (Hay say nee SHEE kee).

Doitsu Yotsushiro - (DOYT zoo YOT soo SHEE roh) Origin of Kumonryu;  Yotsa means 4, Shiro means white.  Doitsu Yotsushiro is a Doitsu koi with 4 patches of white: nose, tail, and both pectoral fins.

Do Zumi - (doh ZOO mee) Sumi on the body.
Doware - (dohn WAH reh) Large white area of a pattern.

 

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Enyu(EHN yoo) A doitsu koi with a white body and red markings whose mirror scales are platinum; pale blue speckles may be interspersed within the red and white color of the dorsal surface.

Etsu No Hisoku(EHT zoo noh hee ZOH koo) A doitsu yellow-green koi.

 TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Flowery Kohaku - (Flowery koh HAH koo) Many, small areas of hi. No recognizable step pattern.
Fucarin - (FOO kah reen) The area of skin around the smaller scales of good metallic koi. The smaller the scales, the greater the luster.
Fuji - (FOO jee) The almost metallic finish on the head of some young non metallic koi.
Fukurin - (FOO koo reen) Mesh pattern or reticulated effect (vignette) involving scales and skin.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Gaku Hi - (GAH koo hee) Red on upper part of face (forehead).
Giku -(GEE koo)  Relates to the swimming mode of a koi with a deformed body.

Gin - (geen) Shiny, reflective, silver metallic.
Gin Bekko - (GEEN BEH koo) Basically a metallic Shiro Bekko.
Gin Kabuto - (GEEN kah BOO tow) A black koi whose scales have silver edges.
Gin Matsuba - (GEEN maht ZOO bah) A metallic silver koi with a black 'pine cone' (matsuba) pattern in the scales.
Gin Shiro - (GEEN SHEE row) A metallic Shiro Utsuri.
Gin Showa - (GEEN SHOW wah) A metallic Showa with a silver luster.
Ginbo - (GEEN bow) A black koi with a silver metallic sheen. 
Ginga - (GEEN gah) Metallic koi with black and white markings.  A cross breed of a Hajiro Kawarimono with a Platinum Ogon.

Ginrin or Gin Rin - (geen deen) The more commonly used term for Kinginrin, referring to sparkling scale types.
Ginsui - (GEEN swee)A metallic Shusui with a silver lustre.
Go bu - (goh boo) Size five.
Godan Kohaku - (GOH dahn koh HAH koo) A white koi with a five step hi pattern.
Godan - (GOH dahn) Five step pattern.
Goi - (goy) Fish.

Goke(GOH keh) Fish scale.
Goma - (GOH mah) Sesame' or scattered sumi.

Gosai - (GOH sigh) 5 year old koi.

Gosanke(goh SAHN keh) A term that refers collectively to the 'big three' of koi keeping: Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.
Goshiki - (goh SHEE kee) A five colored koi, on which white, red, black, and light and dark blue are mixed to give a purplish appearance. Scale reticulation on the red and white, or on the white only.
Goshiki Shusui - (goh SHEE kee SHOO swee) A Doitsu, non metallic blue Goshiki.
Gotenzakura - (goh tehn ZAH koo rah) Cherry pattern
Gotenzakura Kohaku - (go tehn ZAH koo rah koh HAH koo) A cherry blossom patterned Kohaku with many hi patches.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Hachi  - (HAH chee) Head.
Hachi Hi - (HAH chee hee) An early ancestor of the modern Kohaku.
Hachiware -(HAH chee WAH reh)  Lightning stripe head pattern.
Hachizumi -  (HAH chee ZOO mee) A black pattern that runs diagonally across the head.
Hada - (hah dah) Sheen.
Hageru - (HAH geh roo) No blurring on the head (relates to metallic varieties particularly).
Hageshiro - (HAH geh SHEE row) A black koi with white on the head and on the tail and pectoral fin tips.
Hajiro - (hah GEE row) A black koi with white on the tail and pectoral fin tips.
Haka Shita - (HAH kah SHEE tah) Sagging abdomen.
Hanatsuki - (hah NAHT SOO kee) Head hi extends down the nose.
Hanazumi - (hah NAH ZOO mee) A black pattern (or spot) around or near the mouth and nose area.
Hana Shusui - (hah NAH SHOO swee) A form of Shusui, also known as a flowery Shusui with round red markings on the sides (between the back scales and the lateral line) instead of parallel the 'line patches' down the sides or regular Shusui.
Hara - (hah RAH) Abdominal area. 
Hariwake - (HAH ree WAH keh) Koi with two colors, one of which is platinum, the other metallic orange or yellow, double metallic cross breeding.
Hariwake Matsuba - (HAH ree WAH keh maht SOO bah) A silver and yellow metallic koi with a black "pine cone" pattern in its scales.
Heisei Period - (HAY say period) Contemporary Japanese era that started in 1989 and continues to present.  (Periods are dated and named for the Emperor of Japan and the time he serves as Emperor)

Heisei Nishiki - (HAY say nee SHEE kee) A Doitsu Yamato Nishiki. A metallic, scaleless Sanke.  
Hi - (HEE) General term for red.
Hiagari - (hi GAH ree) Intensity of the red color.
Hiban - (hee BAHN) Red pattern element or red area.
Hi Asagi - (hee ah SAH gee) An Asagi whose red marking extends over the lateral line.
Hi Showa - (hee SHOW wah) A predominantly red Showa.
Hi Shusui - (hee SHOO swee) A Shusui whose red pattern spreads up from the belly and covers the back.
Hi Botan - (hee BOW tahn) A koi resembling Bekko, derived from Utsuri lineage.
Higoi - (HEE goy) Red koi, usually called Akamuji (light red) or Benigoi (deep red).
Hikari - (hee KAH ree) Metallic.
Hikari Utsurimono - (hee KAH ree oot SOO ree MOH noh) Metallic Utsuri and Showa.
Hikarimono - (hee KAH ree MOH noh) Shining ones, the metallic groups.
Hikarimoyo - (hee KAH ree MOH yoh) Multicolored 'white-based' metallic koi.
Hikari-moyomono - (hee KAH ree MOH yoh MOH noh) A classification including all metallic koi with two or more colors, except metallic Utsuri and Showa.
Hikarimuji - (hee KAH ree MOO gee) Single-coloured metallic koi, with or without scale reticulation.
Himozumi - (hee moh ZOO mee) String-like, thin sumi pattern.
Hinomaru - (hee noh MAH roo) Sun rising.
Hirenaga koi - (hee reh NAH gah koi) Long-finned or butterfly koi.
Hiroshima Kinginrin - (hee ROH shee mah keen geen deen) Kin Gin Rin as 'cracked glass' or diamond gin rin. Scales have bright lines running across them.

Hisoku(hee SOH koo) Yellow-green color
Hoaka - (hoh AH kah) Hi over the gill plate.
Hon sumi - (hohn SOO mee) 'Genuine sumi', referring to the black Sanke markings on a Koromo Sanke.
Hoshi - (HOH shee) Opening or window within the pattern.
Hookazuki - (hoo kah ZOO kee) A black carp with red cheeks. An early ancestor of the modern Kohaku.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Ichi bu - (EE chee boo) Size one.
Ichimatsu - (EE chee maht soo) Checkered pattern.
Inazuma - (EE nah ZOO mah) Lighting-stripe pattern (zig-zag).
Ippon hi - (EE pohn HEE) Straight hi, renzokumoyo, continuous from head to tail.
Iro - (EE row) Color.
Iroagari - (EE row ah GAH ree) The degree of color intensity.
Iroage - (EE row ah GEH) The act of intensifying the various colors.
Iromono - (EE row MOH noh) The collective name for all metallic koi.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Jari - (JAH ree) Gravel.
Jarisumi - (JAH ree SOO mee) Small black sumi spots.
Jihada - (gee HAH dah) Texture of the koi's skin.
Jinbei - (geen BYE) Sanke line of koi.
Juji - (GOO gee) Cross shape.
Junidaira Showa - (GOON ee dye rah SHOW wah) Very old Showa line.

Jyami - (JAH mee) Shorter word for Jarisumi

 TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Kabuto(kah BOO toh) Translates to ‘helmet’, referring to a koi whose head color is different from that of its body.

Kagami(kah GAH mee) An old koi variety with mirror scales on both the dorsal and ventral sides.

Kage  - (KAH geh) Shadow.

Kakutan - (kah KOO tahn) Square-shaped Tancho marking.

Kamisori - (kah MEE soh ree) Razor border, pattern that cuts across the scale.

Kana - (KAH nah) Male koi

Kanako(Kah nah koh)A koi with a white body and dappled hi, appearing on single scales.

Kao - (KAH oh) 'Face'; any area between the cheeks (also known as 'men')

Karasu(KAH rah soo) A totally black koi, often tinged with a blue haze.

Karasugoi - (KAH rah SOO goy) 'Crow' koi; black koi from the Asagi line.

Kasane Sumi(KAH sah neh SOO mee) A black marking on a red background.

Katamoyo - (KAH tah MOH yoh) Single sided pattern.

Kata Zumi - (KAH tah ZOO mee) Sumi patch or patchtes on the shoulders.

Kawagoi(KAH wah goy) A koi with no scales except for some reflective scales on the dorsal surface.

Kawarimono(kah WAH ree MOH noh) All non-metallic koi that don't fit into any other classification.  The old name for koi with undefined color or pattern.

Kawarigoi - (kah WAH ree goy)The new name for Kawarimono koi, covering all koi varieties that do not fall under established mainstream koi classifications.

KHV - Koi Herpes Virus.  An extremely infective virus with no known cure or scientifically proven antidote.  A KHV infection can kill all the koi in a pond.  Quarantine of new fish is the only method to prevent infection, though even this cannot be guaranteed.

Ki(kee) yellow.

Ki Kokuryu - (KEE koh KOO droo) Metallic Kumonryu 'Chrysanthemum water'.

Kigoi - (KEE goy) A yellow koi, often having red eyes (albino line)

Kikusui - (KEE koo swee) A metallic doitsu Hariwake Ogon - most often seen as a doitsu Kohaku.

Kin(keen) metallic gold.

Kindai - (keen DYE) Modern.

Kinitsusei - (KEE neet SOO say) Uniformity of color.

King Gin Rin - (keen geen deen) also known as Gin Rin (geen deen) - a koi with silver- or gold-colored sparkling scales.

Kin Ki Utsuri - (KEEN kee OOT soo ree) Metallic black koi  with gold markings where the gold can range in color from yellow to red.

Kin Showa - (KEEN SHOW wah) Metallic Showa koi.

Kinporai - (KEEN por ey) A bronze metallic Matsuba Ogon.

Kinrin - (Keen deen) A koi with gold-colored sparkling scales.

Kinsui - (KEEN swee) Metallic Shusui with more hi.

Kinzakura - (KEEN zah KOO rah) Golden cherries; gold-bordered hi.

Kirekomi - (KEE reh KOH mee) Narrow white inserts into the hi rising from the sides of the koi.

Kiwa(KEE wah) The edge of a patch or marking .

Koborehi - (koh BOH reh HEE) Scattered hi (red).

Koboresumi - (koh BOH reh SOO mee) Scattered sumi (black).

Kohaku - (koh HAH koo) A koi with a white body and red markings.  The first koi in the "Big Three" class of koi, known as Go-Sanke; Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.

Koi-dangi - (koy dahn gee) Japanese term for koi enthusiasts "talking about koi".

Koishi - (koy shee) Nishikigoi breeders.

Koke - (KOH keh) Scale

Kokenami - (KOH keh NAH mee) Line of scales.

Kokesuki - (KOH keh SOO kee) Uneven color within the pattern; single colorless scales.

Kokugyo - (koh KOOG yoh) Koi, the national fish representing Japan.

Komoyo(koh MOH yoy) Small zigzag, flowery pattern of red and white.

Konjo – (KAHN joh) Dark blue.

Konzai - (kahn ZYE) Kiwa having both maruzome and kamisori elements.

Koromo - (koh ROH moh) Translates to 'robed',  referring to a koi that has a white base color, overlaid by red patterns with reticulation. A koi show class including Ai -Goromo, Sumi Goromo, Budo Sanke, Goshiki, Koromo Sanke and Koromo Showa.

Koromozumi - (koh ROH moh ZOO mee) Sumi Goromo netted sumi

Kozumi - (koh ZOO mee) Small black spots

Koshi(KOH shee) green.

Kuchi - (KOO chee) Lips, a general term.

Kuchibeni(KOO chee BEN eee) A red-lipped koi.

Kuchi Zumi(KOO chee ZOO mee) Sumi on the mouth.

Kujaku - (koo JAH koo) Translates to ‘peacock’, referring to a reticulated metallic white koi with red, orange or golden markings.

Kumonryu - (KOO mahn droo) Is the term applied to a black Doitsukoi with  random white patterns that change continuously until mature.  Scale-less black koi with white markings.

Kumoru - (KOO morh uuu) Loss of color, brightness, and gloss.

Kuragake - (KOO rah GAH keh) Wearing a saddle; a pattern that crosses the back of the koi like a saddle on a horse.

Kuro (KOO roh) Black.

Kurogoi - (KOO roh goy) Black food carp - the origin of Nishikigoi.

Kurozumi - (KOO roh ZOO mee) Rich, glossy black with no blue highlights.

Kutsubera - (KOO tsoo beh RAH) Shoehorn pattern on the head.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Leather Koi – refers to a koi with no visible scalation, e.g., doitsu.

Lovable - Friendly Nishikigoi.

Love - Beautiful Nishikigoi.

Loving - Kissing Nishikigoi.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Mado - (MAH doh) A'window' in a pattern element involving more than one or two scales.

Madoaki - (MAH doh AH kee) A 'window' in a red pattern.

Magoi - (MAH goy) Mud carp, originally wild carp.

Makiagari - (MAH kee ah GAH ree) A pattern extending from the abdomen to the upper area.

Makikomi - (MAH kee KOH mee) A pattern extending from the upper area to the abdomen.

Maruten - (MOH roo ten) A separate, self contained hi pattern on the head with other hi patterns on the body; i.e. Maruten Kohaku.

Maruzome - MOH ruu ZOH meh) Rounded, scalloped kiwa.  The pattern follows the scale edges.

Matsuba - (maht SOO bah) 'Pine-Cone' scale pattern; single color koi (metallic or non-metallic) with scale reticulation.

Matsukawabake - (maht SOO kah wah BAHK keh) Scale version of the Kumonryu. A black and white koi where the pattern transposes over time - i.e. summer and winter, although periods may be longer.

Men - (mehn) 'Face'; also kao.

Menkaburi - (MEHN kah BOO ree) Hi (red) covering the entire face/head - from the mouth to the gills.

Menware - (MEHN wah reh) Lighting-strip across the head.

Midorigoi - (mee DOH ree goy) A green doitsu koi.

Mizu - (MEE zoo) Light blue color.

Mono - (MOH noh) One or single.

Motoaka - (MOH toh AH kah) Red pectoral fin joints.

Motoguro - (MOH toh GOO roh) Black fin joints.

Moyo - (MOH yoh) More than one color.

Moyo no kire - (MOH yoh noh KEE reh) Sharpness of edge of the color pattern.

Mudagoke - (MOO dah GOH keh) Redundant scale - one out of line on a doitsu koi.

Muji - (MOO gee) Singlesolid color.

Mura - (MOO rah) A state in which color is lacking uniformity.

Murasakigoi - (MOO rah sah KEE goy) A purple/lavender colored koi.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms 


Nabe sumi - (NAH beh SOO mee) Soft gray/brown sumi from the original Tetsu Magoi line.

Nagaremoyo - (nah GAH reh MOH yoh) Streaming hi pattern.

Namikin - (nah MEE keen) Tail Fin

Namitate - (nah MEE tah teh) Dorasl Fin

Narumi Asagi - (nah ROO mee ah SAH gee) Medium blue colored Asagi - traditionally blue-dyed cotton cloth.  Lighter than Konjo Asagi and darker that Mizu Asagi.

Nesai - (NEH say) Over one year, and up to two years old - referring to koi age.

Nezu - (NEH zoo) Gray color.

Nezu Ogan - (NEH zoo OH gahn) Gray metallic scaled koi.

Ni Bu - (nee BOO) Size two.

Niban - (nee BAHN) Secondary.

Niban Hi - (nee BAHN HEE) Secondary hi, also called Asagi hi.

Nidan - (nee DAHN) Two step - as in "2-Step Kohaku" - same as "Nidan Kohaku".

Nidan hara - (nee DAHN HAH rah) Concave abdomen.

Nidan Kohaku - (nee DAHN koh HAH koo) A Kohaku with two steps of hi.

Nishikigoi - (nee SHEE kee goy) 'Jewelled' carp - English term "koi" is an abbreviation of Nishikigoi.

Nosezumi - (NOH seh ZOO mee) A sumi (black) pattern overlapping a hi (red) pattern.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Ochibashigure - (oh CHEE bah shee GOO reh) 'Autumn leaves on the water'; a nezu (gray) koi with one or more cha (brown) patterns.

Odome - (oh DAH meh) Last marking before the tail.

Ogon - (OH gahn) Collective name for metallic koi.

Oiya - (OYE yah) Parent.

Oiyagoi - (OYE yah goy) Koi boodstock - parent koi.

Ojime - (oh GEE meh) Gap between the last pattern marking and the tail.

Omoyo - (oh MOH yoh) Single pattern - deep wrapping pattern.

Orenji - (oh REHN gee) Orange color.

Oyugu Hoseki - (oh YOO goo hoh SEH kee) Living Jewels - an affectionate name for koi.

Ozuke - (oh ZOO keh) The base of the tail.

Ozutsu - (oh ZOOT soo) Body area behind the dorsal fin.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Penducle - (pehn DOOK leh) Area just before the tail.

Pongoi - (POHN goy) Good quality fish.

Pooky - (POO kee) A fun name for a Nishikigoi.

Purachina - (poo RAH chee nah) Platinum.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


i

Quality - What you always recieve from Russell Watergardens & Koi.

Quickly - How fast you should go visit Russell Watergardens Koi.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Renzokumoyo - (REHN zoh KOO moh yoh) Continous pattern.

Reticulation - Net pattern.

Rin - (deen) Is a word that mean 'scales'.  Rin is not used as a single word, it is only used in conjunction with other descriptive words such as Gin; as in Gin Rin to describe silver metallic scales.

Roku bu - (ROH koo boo) Size six.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Sabi - (SAH bee) Appearance of depth to the skin of scaled koi

San bu - (SAHN boo) Size three.

Sandan - (SAHN dahn) Three-step pattern; as in Sandan Kohaku (3-Step Kohaku)

Sanke - (SAHN keh) 'White-based' koi with hi and sumi patterns (red and black).

Sanke Sumi - (SAHN keh SOO mee) Black typically found in small well defined patches over the body of the koi, but not on the head.  'Leopard-spot' pattern.  Also occurs on Bekko.

Sansai - (SAHN sigh) Over two, and up to three years old - referring to koi age.

Sarasa - (sah RAH sah) Pattern of birds, flowers, and geometric patterns.  Another term for 'longfin'.

Sashi - (SAH shee) Blurring of the leading edge of a pattern element, seen on scaled koi.

Sashikomi - SAH shee KOH mee) Scales covering the front edge of the pattern.

Shiki bu - (SHEE kee boo) Size seven.

Shimi - (SHEE mee) Very small black speckles, or dots, no larger than a single scale.  Judges consider Shimi as a demerit - koi owners call them 'Beauty Marks'.

Shiro - (SHEE roh) White.

Shirogoi - (SHEE roh goy) White koi.

Shiroji - (shee ROH gee) White area.

Shiromuji - (SHEE roh MOO gee) Other koi varieties who's color disappeared and 'turned white'.

Shitsu - (SHEET soo) Quality, or nature of skin - including shiroji, hi, sumi, etc.

Shochikubai - (shoh CHEE koo bye) Metallic Ai-Goromo.

Showa - (SHOH wah) A three colored koi, black with red and white.  The last of the Go-Sanke Class of koi (The Big Three Koi) of Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.  Showa exhibit sumi in stripes or bands (similar to Utsuri), as opposed to Sanke which show sumi in spots.  Showa also have sumi on the head, Sanke does not.

Showa Period - (SHOW wah period) - Japanese era from 1927 through 1989.  (Periods are dated and named for the Emperor of Japan and the time he serves as Emperor)

Showa Sumi - (SHOH wah SOO mee) The type of black pattern found in stripes and bands all over a koi - including the head.  Similar to 'Tiger Stipes'.  Showa sumi also occurs on Utsuri.

Shusui - (SHOO swee) An ai (blue) Doitsu koi with hi (red) markings usually on the sides of the body and the head.

Sokozumi - (SOH koh ZOO mee) Black that is faintly visible.

Sorogoi - (SOH roh goi) Gray koi.

Sumi - (SOO mee) Black marking.

Sumi Goromo - (SOO mee goh ROH moh) White koi with red patterns overlaid by black reticulation (black net pattern).

Suminagashi - (SOO mee nah GAH shee) A black koi with white scale reticulation (white net pattern).

Surely - You jest.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Taikei - (tye KYE) Conformation of the body.

Taisho Period - (TYE show period) - Japanese era from 1912 through 1926.  (Periods are dated and named for the Emperor of Japan and the time he serves as Emperor)

Taisho Sanke - (TYE shoh SAHN keh) Three colored koi; shiro (white) body with hi (red) and sumi (black) markings - commonly referred to as 'Sanke'.  Unlike Showa, Sanke never have sumi  on the head, and Sanke's body sumi appears in patches, or spots - not in bands or stripes like that of the Showa.  The Sanke is the second koi in the Go-Sanke Class of Koi that is known as 'The Big Three'.

Taki - (TAH kee) Waterfall.  See Hydro Vortex™.

Tancho - (TAHN choh) A koi with a single hi spot on the head only.

Tategoi - (TAH teh goy) A koi that posses potential for the future.

Tebire - (teh BEE reh) Pectoral fin.

Tejima - (teh GEE mah) Sumi stripes in the fins.

Teri - (TEH ree) Gloss or luster.

Tetsu - (TEHT soo) Iron.

Tetsu Magoi - (TEHT soo MAH goy) Ancestor or predecessor of Showa, Chagoi, and Ogon lines.

Tezumi - (teh ZOO mee) Another term for sumi stripes in the fins.

Tobi hi - (TOH bee HEE) Very small hi (red) spots.

Tora Ogon - (TOH rah OH gahn) Metallic Ki Bekko (yellow and black)

Tosai - (TOH sye) In its first year - up to one year old; referring to koi age.

Tsubaki Sanke - (tsoo BAH kee SAHN keh) Aka Sanke (all red) with a chain of sumi (black) running the entire length of the koi.

Tsubo sumi - (TSOO boh SOO mee) Black pattern over white skin.

Tsuya - (TSOO yah) Another term for 'luster'.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Umebachi - (OO meh BAH chee) Japanese apricot flower-shaped marking; i.e. Tancho spot.

Uroko kiwi - (oo ROH koh KEE wee) Scalloped kiwa (see maruzome)

Urushizumi - (oo ROO shee ZOO mee) Jet-black, glossy sumi  (black) with a ting of ai (blue) - also known as tsuyazumi.

Utsuri - (oot SOO ree) 'Reflections' or 'relecting ones'.  A two colored koi - always a black koi with one other color; white, red, or yellow patches or bands.  Shiro Utsuri, Hi Utsuri, and Ki Utsuri.

Utsurimono - (oot SOO ree MOH noh) Formal name for Utsuri.

Unwappi - (oon WAH pee) Thin hi (red).

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Vermin - Animals that try to eat your Nishikigoi.

Very - Sad when it happens - so make your pond bigger and deeper to prevent this tragedy - small, shallow ponds make it easier for vermin to eat your Nishikigoi; Koi Ponds, Hybrid Ponds,™ and CrossOver™ Ponds are much safer environments for your beloved Nishikigoi than other types of ponds.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Wabi - (WAH bee) Appearance of depth to the skin of scaled koi.

Wagoi - (WAH goy) Scaled koi - virtually all koi except Doitsu.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Xzooberance - Russell Watergardens & Koi's new word for the feeling of joy created by Nishikigoi happily swimming about in Koi Ponds, Hybrid Ponds,™ and CrossOver™ Ponds.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


Yamabuki - (YAH mah BOO kee) Bright gold color, as in Yamabuki Ogon.

Yamatonishiki - (YAH mah toh nee SHEE kee) Metallic Sanke.

Yogyo - (YOHG yoh) Young fish.

Yon bu - (YOHN boo) Size four.

Yondan - (YAHN dahn) Four Step; as in Yondan Kohaku (4-Step Kohaku).

Yonsai - (YAHN sye) Four year old koi.

Yoroigoi - (yoh ROH ee goy) A koi with large armor scales all over its body.

Yotsushiro - (YOHT soo SHEE roh) Black koi with white on the tail, pectoral fins, dorsal fin, and head.

TOP Glossary of Koi Terms


ZNA - Zen Nippon Airinkai is an international association for amateur koi keepers - a Nishikigoi Keepers Society with Chapters all around the world for the betterment of the hobby.

Russell the Friendly Koi says: "Zats all folks!"Zubonhaki - (ZOO bahn HAH kee) Where the latter half of the body (the tail end) is completely red or black.

Zukinkaburi - (zoo KEEN kah boo ree) Red forehead.

Zats - All folks.

Miss Russell the Friendly Koi says: "Its fun to learn what all the Japanese Koi terms are....and how to pronounce them!"

 

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