THE Directory of Koi Varieties
Koi are a big part of Asian culture, but in the last few decades, the hobby of Koi keeping has spread across the world. Listed below are every original kind of Koi. Each variety usually has a Doitsu (scaless) version and a Gin Rin (sparkly) scaled version. These variations will be added as soon as we get a good photo. Click on each photo for a description of each variety.
These three are the most popular in Japan, the Kohaku, the Showa, and the Sanke.
The colored Koi with a black pattern..
The black Koi with a colored pattern.
The blue/grey Koi with a red pattern.
The Koi with a pattern only on their Maruten spots.
The metallic Koi with only one color for a pattern.
The Koi that have black shading over their patterns.
Koi that have metallic patterns.
These Koi have a grey shading pattern on their scales.
These Koi don't fit into any other classification.
Where did all the Koi on this page come from?
Believe it or not, Koi are actually color-mutated food carp! Many years ago, the rice farmers needed a source of protein during the long and harsh winters in Niigata. They would keep the carp in ponds and grow them until they reached about 6 inches in size. Then the rice farmers would catch the food carp and would salt them so they wouldn't go bad during the cold winter months. The farmers noticed that some of the carp had different colors, so they kept these out and bred them together. Fast forward a couple hundred years and now there is a vast array of colors! (Please Note: A common misconception is that the rice farmers would put the carp in their rice paddies. This is untrue, for the carp would have destroyed their crops! Consider the way Koi like to tear apart potted water gardening plants!)