Koi Library


Blue KOI with a vignette or scale reticulation in a dark blue.  Asagi are fully scaled (wagoi) and Shusui doitsu (either kagamigoi, having rows of large scales along the dorsal and lateral lines only, or kawagoi, having almost no scales at all.) Red (hi) patterns typically appear along the sides of the head and body and as red pectoral fin joints (motoaka). Their names refer to color variants.


Konjo Asagi: Very dark blue/purple base

Narumi Asagi: Pale blue with a darker vignette. Best known Asagi

Hi Asagi: Hi around the sides of the KOI has extended over the back

Taki or Waterfall Asagi: Light blue, non reticulated band of color divides the typical Asagi, blue reticulated dorsal area from a red abdomen

Mizu or water Asagi: Very pale blue/white

Shusui: Light blue KOI with doitsu scales reticulated as for Asagi. Hi appears around the sides and head of the body.

Hana Shusui: Hi markings similar to a string of beads appear between the dorsal and lateral scale lines

Hi Shusui: Hi extends over the back of the KOI

Ki Shusui: Yellow patterns replace the hi


Kin-gin-rin scaling: Rows of very shiny scales appearing on the back and sides of the KOI (Asagi). Shusui may occasionally demonstrate pearl scales


Koi with a solid base color and black (summi) markings except on the head.

  • Aka Bekko has a red/orange base color
  • Ki Bekko has a yellow base color
  • Shiro Bekko has a white base color


Koi with sparkling scales that have the luster of diamonds beneath the water.


Koi that have a bluish white or red base color with red, black, or blue markings.


Koi with long flowing fins that are often called Butterfly Koi because of their underwater elegance.


Koi having a metallic white base color which is graced with a variety of accent colors.


Kin-Gin-Rin: Rows of very shiny scales along the back sides

Doitsu: Kagamigoi (having rows of large scales along the dorsal and lateral lines only) or kawagoi (having almost no scales at all)

Fukurin: A net or reticulated pattern.

Hikari Muji

Koi that have a solid base color like white, yellow, or red which is covered with a metallic sheen. Strong scale reticulation provides a majestic contrast.

Hikari Utsuri

Koi with same sumi positioning criteria as Utsurimono and Showa. This class contains metallic equivalents of both. Sumi is usually on the head and nose. Typical patterns are a ‘v’ or a ‘lightning strike’ dividing the head. Sumi on the body will wrap around over the back reaching below the lateral line. Most often will be asymmetrical and jagged looking. Sumi may also appear in large blocks. Sumi on pectoral fins appear as motoguro rather than light stripes on the fins. Sumi is also expected to be seen inside the mouth.


Kage: Shadowed white

Motoguro: Black pectoral fins

Menware or Hachiware: Lighting stripe head sumi

Hanazumi: Sumi on the nose

Kitchizumi: Sumi on the lips

Doitsu: Kagamigoi (having rows of large scales along the dorsal and lateral lines only) or kawagoi (having almost no scales at all)


Koi with unique characteristics that are less suited for other classifications.


White KOI with red (hi) patterns.


Hanatsuki: Head hi extends down the nose

Omoyo: Large wrapping hi patterns

Komoyo: Small wrapping hi patterns

Danmoyo: Stepped hi pattern

Kutchibeni: Hi on lips

Motoaka: Hi on pectoral fin joints

Doitsu: Either kagamigoi, having rows of large scales along the dorsal and lateral lines only; or kawagoi, having almost no scales at all

Tobi hi: Very small hi spots

Uwappi: Thin hi

Bozu: No hi on the head

Kirekomi: White inserts into the hi rising from he scales of the KOI

Nagaremoyo: Streaming hi pattern

Hoaka: Hi over the gill plate

Bongiri: The head hi does not come far enough forward towards the nose.

Beret hi: Asymmetrical head hi on one side only

Asagi hi: Secondary, undesirable hi appearing as freckles below the lateral line

Kokeski: Colorless scale sized areas within a hi element


Koi with gosanke base colors accented by reticulated bluish scales.


Doitsu: Kagamigoi (having rows of large scales along the dorsal and lateral lines only) or kawagoi (having almost no scales at all)

Menkaburi: The head of the KOI is completely red

Bozu: No hi appears on the head

Specific hi pattern: Named as for Kohaku: nidan, sandan, inazuma, maruten



Koi with ametallic sheen and contrasting reticulated scales. The primary colors are shared with the Asagi and Sanke.


Once categorized as Kawarimono, these Doitsu Koi have a white base color (summi) with black (benni) markings that often emerge as the fish grows.


Koi with red(Hi) and white (summi) patterns on a white base color. One of the three gosanke varieties.


Koi with red and white patterns on a black base color. Motoguru is largely present on the pectoral fins.


Koi with a honorable red (hi) marking on their head. Usually round and distinctive.


Kakutan: Square tancho markings

Umebachi: Tancho marking shaped like he petals of the apricot tree

Jiji: Cross shaped tancho marking

Utsuri Mono

Two colored Koi with a solid base such as white, yellow, or red. Black patterns appear along the sides and on the head of the fish.

Susan Savad

Susan Savad

Biography As a child, I wasn’t particularly interested in art. I took the usual art classes that most kids take but I didn’t pursue it at home. It was when my husband went into the army that I finally started becoming interested in painting. All of a sudden, I was in Texas, had no job… Continue Reading