|Yamamatsu Koi Farm- Matsunosuke
Some of you may be interested in breeding
Nishikigoi. Some of you may even be interested
in becoming professional breeders. Nishikigoi
have standards that are very deep in the
Japanese culture. It is important that professional
breeders throughout the world adhere to these
||Beautiful Nishikigoi is made possible by
highly specialized skill, talent and continuous
efforts over 20-30 years. Mr. Sakai is one
of the representative breeders.
The breeders in my articles are representative
of Japanese breeders. I have worked with
them for many years and I believe this information
will help those interested breed better koi.
Matsunosuke - Mr. Toshiyuki Sakai of
Matsunosuke Sanke is a representative brand
of Taisho Sanshoku. Mr. Toshiyuki Sakai at
the Yamamatsu Koi Farm and Mr. Toshio Sakai
of the Isawa Nishikigoi Center created this
bloodline. It was in 1974 when they first
bred Matsunosuke Sanke. From that point,
the history of the Matsunosuke began.
There had been countless failures and heartbreak
until they found the right match in parents.
In the 1960's, this Sanke was known for its
beauty but it did not grow into a large size.
This was very disturbing to the Sakai brothers.
It was then they set as their goal the breeding
of large koi.
They went everywhere to find potential parents.
They were successful in 1974. Since then,
they have improved the bloodline over the
last 20 years. At last they won Grand Champion
in 1994 and 1995.
|"Ikeage" - seining 3-year-old Matsunosuke
out of mud pond.
What we need to learn here is that
set a clear goal to develop large koi.
did not simply buy parents to breed
|In winter, this area has a huge snowfall
2-3m(80-120in.). Yamamatsu Koi Farm in located
at about the center of this picture.
Mr. Koji Sakai and Mr. Yoshimichi Sakai of
the Hiroshima Sakai Koi Farm, won Grand Champion
at the All Japan Combined Nishikigoi show
in 2000 and 200land at the ZNA All Japan
Nishikigoi show in the fall of 2001 as well.
These results gave them a repu tation as
top breeders in Japan. Their goal was "to
breed koi with dignified appearance."
What Mr Sakai of Matunosuke and Mr. Sakai
of Hiroshima have in common is that they
set goals with determination.
In addition, they both considered body conformation
the top priority as we see from their goals:
"breed large koi" (Matsunosuke)
and "breed koi with dignified appearance."
It is said that the beauty of Nishikigoi
depends on first the body conformation, second
the quality and third, the pattern. Nobody
objects to this standard. In fact, many breeders
emphasize pattern in their breeding.
It is not too much to saythe history of Nishikigoi
is a history of criss-crossing. Various characters
of the ancestors can exist in one koi. When
thinking too much of pattern, breeders will
often look for parents that have good pattern
and fail to consider the existence of the
complex characters inside the koi. It is
very important to consider the true nature
when looking for parents.
Nishikigoi breeders must set a firm goal
and pursue it with passion in achieving it
for at least 20 years.
In the picture above you can see Yamakoshi
village in Niigata where Yamamatsu Koi Farm
is located. Deep in the mountains it snows
at least 2 to 3 meters (7 to 10 ft) in winter.
The famous Toshiyuki Sakai is working on
breeding of Nishikigoi. In winter everything
is covered with snow. From spring to autumn
the air is clear. It has very beautiful scenery.
It is in this wonderful environment that
he breeds his beautiful Nishikigoi. Yamamatsu
Koi Farm has 40 mud ponds in various sizes
covering about 8.75 acres.
It has been reported that enterprises in
China take the challenge of breeding Nishikigoi
in huge areas, such as 50 to 75 acres. But
large areas and ponds make little sense in
breeding because breeding Nishikigoi is creating
"beauty." It is a job to cull out
tremendous numbers of fry. Breeders cull
koi more than three times (almost every month)
until koi grow to about 6 inches (15cm).
For this kind of job, a small pond is more
convenient. They should put more stress on
"technicians" than huge ponds,
laborers and wonderful facilities.
|A. This is Grand Champion at the All Japan
Combined Nishikigoi Show in 1994.
is "Himiko." Many readers
her well. This is a good example
of Mr. Sakai's
work. This Koi was chosen as
out of 4,503 entries. This is
a great achivement.
||B. This koi won Grand Champion out of 4,002
entries at the All Japan Combined
Show in 1995. Matsunosuke won
2 years in a row. This achievement
recognized as a top quality koi.
||C. In 1997, Matsunosuke won Grand Champion
with this Kohaku. This proved
that not only
his Sanke but also his Kohaku
are a top quality
in Japan. His Kohaku is characterised
the outstanding shiroji (white
In the koi world, there is no school that
teaches these things. Young potential breeders
spend about three to five years with a breeder
to learn everything they can. Because Niigata
is still the origin of beautiful Nishikigoi,
there are many who study the culling skills
After they learn good breeding skills,
continue in pursuit of their goals
to 30 years. Without the knowledge
life commitment they cannot breed the
koi. Mr. Toshiyuki Sakai represents
who have committed their lives to this.
|Mr. Toshiyuki watches over 500 2-year-old
koi just pulled out of a mud pond in the
Every year, his excellent breeder fish produce
about 1,000,000 fry. He keeps only the top
5,000 tosai (one year old, about 6").
Around May, he selects 500 out of the 5,000
to release in the mud ponds. He harvests
them in autumn and by now they have grown
to about 16 to 20 inches. He keeps 50 out
of the 500 to raise one more year and sells
the rest. In other words, only 5,000 of the
famous Matsunosuke is available each year.
This is a very limited brand. If you are
fortunate enough to own one, please recognize
its value and giveitgood care.