Showa koi fish are one of the Gosanke or “Big 3” along with Taisho Sanke and Kohaku koi. Showa are beautiful koi, with colors of white, red, and black painted across their bodies the same way that a Japanese brush drawing suggests artistic interpretation without every stroke being complete. The beauty of these fish stir our emotions with it’s exquisite combination of colors.
Variations of Showa include:
- Tancho Showa
- Maruten Showa
- Gin Rin Showa
- Doitsu Showa
- Kin Showa
Showa Koi Fish Patterns
A seasoned and skilled breeder or dealer should be consulted when choosing a Showa koi fish for purchase, as less knowledgeable breeders often mistake the two. A good Showa Sanshoku should have a nicely balanced pattern as well as sharp edges separating the colors. Showa Koi fish, are perfect for creating a vibrant and artistic atmosphere in the pond. Their sharp colors add irresistible interest to any collection.
The Showa Sanshoku are strong and hardy koi fish and do well in most ponds. The Showa Koi fish are available from many different breeders and dealers, it is important to check their reputation before getting your heart set on this type of Koi. A good bloodline will guarantee that the fish will keep its color for a long time.
Showa Sanshoku Characteristics
Showa is one of the most sought-after koi varieties, next to Kohaku. Because they have such a wide variety of patterns and variation in the proportion of their colours, they appeal to a wide range of hobbyists.
Their ‘typical’ look has changed over the years to keep up with the changing tastes of hobbyist. Red as the dominant colour, followed by strong bands of black sumi, and roughly an equal amount of white. Over the years, the amount of white has gradually increased, and some strains have more white than red. Today, white as the dominant colour is becoming very popular, they are referred to as Kindai Showa.
Some hobbyists prefer less white, and of course, there are fish to satisfy them as well. When red is the predominant colour (more than half of its body is covered with hi) is called a Hi Showa. Some of them can be difficult to distinguish from a Hi Utsuri, because they may look very similar. Just As long as there is just a tiny bit of white somewhere on the body.
They can be one of the most difficult varieties of koi to assess when purchasing a young fish. In most cases, the size and distribution of the sumi will change substantially as the koi ages. Sumi often only fully develop after the fish reaches 3 years of age, or even longer. Young fish often only show signs of the sumi as shadowy blue-grey markings. These usually grow in size and darken as the fish matures, producing the pleasing sumi.
Like Sanke, they often have black on their pectoral fins. In fact, a good Showa koi fish should have Motoguro (black at the base of both fins) as well as some stripes radiating out into the fins as well.
Ideally, almost all of the pectoral fins, except for the outermost tips, should be black. As the pectoral fins grow out, the black seems to stay the same and the white area on the outside seems to spread out. Red is not acceptable in the fins. Pectoral fins should have Sumi at the base, up against the body. Start selecting a young showa, as with other young koi, by looking at the head. The head should have all 3 colors (red, black, and white), preferably in equal amounts. The best would be to have a good kohaku head with either a lightning stripe or a v-shape in black on the top of the head.