<The History of Nishikigoi>
Nishikigoi are freshwater fish of the temperate zone, scientifically classified as belonging to the carp genus of the carp family of the carp order of the teleostei class, exactly the same as the magoi (black carp) which is cultivated for food. There is no separate division of Nishikigoi. It is said that carp, originated in Central Asia, mainly around Persia, were brought to Japan via China about a thousand years ago.
In the early part of the 19th century, some color mutations appeared among the magoi being cultivated for food in the mountainous regions of Niigata, especially in the villages of Yamakoshi and Uonuma. By cross-breeding those mutations repeatedly, a red-colored mutation appeared, and further cross-breeding led to the creation of the Asagi and the Bekko.
It is said that it was around 1830 that the Sarasa, a carp with Hi markings on a white ground was produced. Improvements continued to be made, and around the beginning of the Meiji Era (1868-1912) superior colored koi of the Ki Utsuri, Asagi, Sarasa were produced. The Taisho Era (1912-1926) saw the creation of black-and-white patterned Shiro Utsuri, Ki Utsuri, Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku and others. Imported Doitsu-goi (German carp), first into Japan in 1904, were crossbred with the Asagi and then the Shusui and other the Doitsu were produced.
Today, the production of Nishikigoi has spread over Japan, and many Nishikigoi breeders are trying to producing superior Nishikigoi. Nishikigoi has become the word expressing the ornamental carp not only in Japan but also in the world.