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The Utsurimono is a class of koi that, by definition, is a non-metallic black color combined with a secondary color. It is one of the classifications considered for judging purposes. Shiro Utsuri koi is the most common type in this class, and it is held in very high regard. Shiro Utsuri is a black and white koi with a checkerboard design. Most koi enthusiasts can correctly identify a Shiro Utsuri with its bold, two-colored block pattern


Utsurimono loosely translates to “reflection” or “shiny” (Utsuri), and “thing” (mono), and references the bright nature of Utsurimono koi’s scales. Like their close Showa relatives, They have a great deal of bold sumi (black) as their base, but unlike Showa are accented by just one other vibrant color that can either be red, yellow, or white.


Utsurimono Koi Fish South Africa


The Utsurimono Koi fish is a common category of Japanese-bred carp that you can find for your backyard pond. They are calm, with a peaceful temperament, and can grow up to 71 and 100 centimeters in length. The base color is black, and it has a checkerboard pattern of alternating colored metallic scales, including red or orange, yellow, and white. Each color combination has an identifying name, which is:

  1. Hi Utsuri: black base with alternate red or orange pigment areas
  2. Ki Utsuri: black Koi with alternate yellow pigment sections
  3. Shiro Utsuri: black base with alternate white pigment areas


Shiro Utsuri


This is a koi fish with black skin overlaid with white markings. The word ‘Shiro’ literally translates as ‘white’ in Japanese. On the other hand, Utsuri translates literally as ‘reflections’ in Japanese, and a good fish will display alternating markings similar to that of a chess board.


Hi Utsuri


They belong to the Utsuri group. The word ‘Hi’ translates as ‘red’ in Japanese, and Hi Utsuri Koi will be black and red. The patterning along the back of a good Utsuri should be alternating akin to that of a chess board.


Kin Ki Utsuri


This koi also belongs to the Utsuri group. In this case, the words ‘Kin Ki’ translates as ‘metallic yellow/orange’ in Japanese, and so Kin Ki Utsuri Koi will be orange/yellow and black with metallic skin. The patterning along the back of a good Utsuri should be alternating akin to that of a chess board. In the case of the Kin Ki Utsuri metallic skin can be seen by looking at the pectoral fins which should not be transparent.


Doitsu Utsuri


All types of Utsurimono, whether Ki, Hi, or Shiro, can be Doitsu. A Doitsu koi is one that lacks scales, with pigmentation and patterning existing solely on its skin. While often not as coveted as Utsuri with scales, Doitsu Utsuri can be striking and incredibly unique.


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