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Koi Terminology Part I

Koi Terminology Part I

Ever wondered what Motoguro means ? Or was it Tejima... Don't know your Kin from your Gin ?

Check out the Koi terminology list below. Some you will read of or hear every day in your hobby, other words you may never come across.

Last updated 10/09/2023

Aka – (AH kah)  Entire red body

Aka hana – (AH kah HAH nah) Red nose

Akame –  (AH kah may) The red iris in the eye of an albino koi. Often seen in Kigoi

Akebi – (ah KEH bee) light blue

Ami – (ah ME) Net

Amime – (ah ME meh) Mesh or scales in a net pattern

Aragoke – (ah rah GO keh) Large armour or plate scales

Atama – (ah TAH mah) Head crown

Ato – (AH toh) Late-appearing usually referring to sumi that often develop later than other colours

Beni – (BEN ee) Describes deep solid red. Often used in the Go-Sanke varieties.

Beta-gin – (BEH tah deen) a type of gin-rin scale, where the whole scale sparkles

Boke – (BOH kee) Undeveloped Showa sumi

Bozu – (boh ZOO) No hi on the head, bald head

Budo – (BOO doh) A pattern of colored scales resembling a bunch of grapes

Danmoyo – (dahn MOW yow) A stepped pattern

Doh – (doh) Body

Doitsu – (DOYTs) also called German koi that are not fully scaled, usually with a row of large plate scales along each lateral line and a row on either side of the dorsal fin

Fucarin – (FOO kah reen) The area of skin between the scales giving a ‘golf ball’ like appearance

Fukurin – (FOO koo reen) Mesh pattern or reticulated effect (vignette) involving scales and skin

Giku –(GEE koo)  Relates to the swimming mode of a koi with a deformed body.

Gin – (geen) Shiny, reflective, silver metallic.

Ginrin or Gin-Rin – (geen reen) Refers to sparkling scales, often called diamond scales

Godan – (GOH dahn) Five step pattern

Goi – (goy) Fish

Goke – (GOH keh) Fish scale

Gotenzakura – (goh tehn ZAH koo rah) Cherry pattern

Hachi  – (HAH chee) Head

Hara – (hah RAH) Abdominal area

Hi – (HEE) A term for red, not typically used when discussing Go-Sanke. Often used for variety names i.e. Hi-Showa, Hi Utsuri etc.

Hikari – (hee KAH ree) Metallic. i.e. the metallic seen on a Yamabuki.

Hikarimono – (hee KAH ree MOH noh) Single-coloured metallic koi, such as Kin Matsuba

Hikarimoyo – (hee KAH ree MOH yoh) Multicolored metallic koi, such as Kujaku

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 used more so for varieties such as Mukashi Ogon, Yamabuki etc.

Ichimatsu – (EE chee maht soo) Checkered pattern

Inazuma – (EE nah ZOO mah) Lighting strike pattern

Ippon hi – (EE pohn HEE) A continuous red pattern from head to tail

Iro – (EE row) Colour

Jari – (JAH ree) Literally means gravel

Jarisumi – (JAH ree SOO mee) Small black sumi spots

Kabuto – (kah BOO toh) Means ‘helmet’. Refers to a koi with a head colour that is different from its body

Kana – (KAH nah) Male koi

Katamoyo – (KAH tah MOH yoh) A pattern that is present only on one side of the body

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

Kawarigoi – (kah WAH ree goy) The new term for Kawarimono

Kin – (keen) Metallic gold

Kindai – (keen DYE) Modern

Kin Gin-Rin – (keen geen deen) also known as Gin-Rin (geen deen) Koi with silver or gold-colored sparkling scales

Kiwa – (KEE wah) The trailing edge of a pattern

Koke – (KOH keh) Scale

Kokenami – (KOH keh NAH mee) Line of scales

Kuchi – (KOO chee) Lips

Kuchibeni – (KOO chee BEN eee) A koi with red lips

Kutsubera – (KOO tsoo beh RAH) Shoehorn or U-shape pattern on the head

Magoi – (MAH goy) Mud carp, originally wild carp

Maruten – (MOH roo ten) A separate, self contained hi (red) pattern on the head with other hi patterns on the body

Menkaburi – (MEHN kah BOO ree) Hi (red) covering the entire face or head

Menware – (MEHN wah reh) Traditional black head patterns of Showa and Utsuri

Motoaka – (MOH toh AH kah) Red markings at the base of the pectoral fins

Motocha – (MOH toh chah) Brown markings at the base of the pectoral fin 

Motoguro – (MOH toh GOO roh) Black markings at the base of the pectoral fins

Namikin – (nah MEE keen) The caudal or tail fin

Namitate – (nah MEE tah teh) Dorasl Fin

Nishikigoi – (nee SHEE kee goy) ‘Jewelled’ carp

Nisai – (NEE sye) A koi in its second year – up to two years old

Odome – (oh DOH meh) Last marking before the tail

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

Ozuke – (oh ZOO keh) The base of the tail

Pongoi – (POHN goy) Good quality fish

Rin – (deen) Scale

Sansai – (SAHN sye) A koi in its third year – up to three years old

Sashi – (SAH shee) The leading edge of a pattern element

Shimi – (SHEE mee) Undesirable, small black spots or dots, no larger than a single scale

Shiroji – (shee ROH gee) White area

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

Sumi – (SOO mee) Black marking

Take – (TAH ky) Means expensive. Usually used to describe the breeders most expensive Koi.

Tategoi – (TAH teh goy) A koi that possess potential for the future

Tateshita – (TAH teh shee tah) Young koi that has finished developing and has no potential for improvement. the opposite of Tategoi

Tebire – (teh BEE reh) Pectoral fin

Tejima – (teh GEE mah) Sumi stripes in the fins

Tosai – (TOH sye) A koi in its first year – up to one year old

Tsuya – (TSOO yah) Luster

Wagoi – (WAH goy) Scaled koi

Yogyo – (YOHG yoh) Young fish

Yonsai – (YAHN sye) A koi in its fourth year, up to four years old