About Koi

Learning about koi is a lifelong process for koi keepers at all levels. Information about koi abounds on the internet and some of it is contradictory. Material published on the AKJA website reflects the consensus of AKJA judges. Our website content will be reviewed and updated regularly.

➡️Koi Glossary. Koi keeping originated in Japan and many terms used in the hobby are Japanese. Some of the most common terms used by AKJA judges discuss koi include:

  • beni: [ben-ē] Red (usually as a base color over the body of a Koi).
  • doitsu: [doytz] German – Refers to a Koi with large mirror scales along the dorsal and lateral lines only (mirror carp) or completely scaleless (leather carp).
  • ginrin: [gēn-rēn] The more commonly used term for Kinginrin, referring to sparkling scale types.
  • hi: [hē] Red (markings).
  • hikari: [hē-ka-rē] Metallic.
  • kohaku: [kō-ha-koo] White Koi with red markings.
  • nisai: [nē-sī] Born last year.
  • nishikigoi: [nē-shē-kē-goy] Brocaded carp. Japanese will refer to koi as nishikigoi.
  • sanke: [san-ke] Literally, ‘tri-color’. White Koi with red and black markings. (Sanke).
  • shiro: [shē-rō] White.
  • showa: [shō-wa] also referred to as Showa Sanshoku: Black Koi with red and white markings.
  • sumi: [soo-mē] Black (markings).

➡️ AKJA Classifications. AKJA currently recognizes sixteen classifications of koi.