Kloubec Koi Farm

Pattern and Sheen: The metallic appeal of Hikari Moyo

1Kikusui Hikari Moyo is a group of metallic koi
with color patterns on their bodies.
Major varieties of Hikari Moyo
include Sakura Ogon, Kikusui,
Yamato Nishiki, Kujyaku,
Lemon Hariwake and
more. In Japanese, hikari
means metallic and
moyo means pattern.

Among the metallic
koi, there are
three groups: Hikari
Muji, Hikari Moyo
and Hikari Utsuri.
Hikari Muji is easy
to identify because
they are metallic koi
with no pattern. Hikari
Moyo and Hikari Utsuri,
on the other hand, are both
patterned metallic koi. Some
people may be confused with
the difference, and the easiest way to
differentiate the two is that metallic versions
of Showa, Shiro Utsuri and Hi Utsuri are all Hikari
Utsuri. The rest are Hikari Moyo, such as the metallic
versions of Kohaku and Sanke.

When appreciating the Hikari Moyo group, there
are two characteristics that one must pay attention to:
the sheen and the excellence of the base variety.

Lemon Hariwake
Lemon Hariwake


When you look at the names of koi varieties,
what comes first is always more important than
the following word. Let’s take Ginrin Kohaku, for
example. Ginrin Kohaku are red and white koi
(Kohaku) with diamond scales (Ginrin).
When you have an excellent
Kohaku pattern koi with poor
Ginrin and a koi with poor
Kohaku-patterned koi
but excellent Ginrin,
a poor-patterned
Kohaku wi th
superior Ginrin
will win. That is
because the Ginrin
feature is more
important than the
Kohaku feature.
This is why we
call the koi Ginrin
Kohaku, not Kohaku

The same principle
applies here, too. Remember
that Hikari Moyo is a koi with
two features: hikari (metallic) and moyo
(pattern). The importance of the metallic feature
outweighs the pattern of the base variety. Therefore,
the degree of the sheen is the most important key
factor in the appreciation of Hikari Utsuri.


Knowing this, how can we tell the quality of the
sheen? The face and the pectoral fins are the places to look at. These two areas show the innate
sheen quality of the koi the most. Please look for
a clean and shiny face and pectoral fins.

Excellence of the Base Variety

Again, Hikari Moyo are the metallic version
of other varieties such as Kohaku, Sanke and
Goshiki, so it is important that you understand
the appreciation of these base varieties.
For example, Kohaku is a two-colored koi …
therefore the balance of the two colors is
important, especially the face and odome. As
for Sanke, it would be ideal to have a Kohaku
pattern and a few lacquer Sumi spots that
support the Kohaku pattern.

The names of the varieties in Hikari Moyo
may be a little confusing, especially when you
think of the Doitsu version of them. Allow me
to list some of the major varieties’ names and
their definitions:

  • Sakura Ogon: Metallic-scaled Kohaku
  • Yamato Nishiki: Metallic-scaled Sanke.
    This variety is very hard to find nowadays.
    Only Marusaka Koi Farm provides quality Yamato Nishiki.
  • Kujaku: Metallic-scaled
  • Kikusui: Metallic Doitsu
  • Heisei Nishiki: Doitsu metallic
    Yamato Nishiki
  • Taro visits Mr. Kase at Koshiji Koi Farm.
    Taro visits Mr. Kase at Koshiji Koi Farm.

    Selling Hikari Moyo

    Marketing Hikari Moyo can
    be easy … or it can be difficult.
    Because they are shiny koi, they can
    be very popular at your store. But
    to be able to explain and teach their
    quality to your clients, you have to
    study their base varieties very much.
    Just like Hikari Utsuri, good ones
    are always few. If your supplier has
    them or has an assorted mix from
    the breeders known for their quality
    Hikari Moyo, please do not hesitate
    to order extra.

    You can find these varieties at
    Koshiji Koi Farm, Aokiya Koi Farm,
    Marusaka Koi Farm, Fukasawa Koi
    Farm and Kaneko Koi Farm (for

    Final Thoughts

    There are two more things you
    need to know about the pattern of
    Hikari Utsuri. In Hikari Utsuri,
    the redder it is, the higher the
    value is. When you look at
    Kin Showa, for
    example, some
    have more
    orange hi and
    others have redder hi.
    In general, redder hi is
    more desirable (and
    wins at koi shows).
    Thus, redder Kin
    Showa is usually
    priced higher.

    Showing the beautiful koi (above) at Marusake Koi Farm.
    Showing the beautiful koi (above) at Marusake Koi Farm.

    It is important to
    know the fact that sumi and
    sheen do not get along. When you
    see strong sumi, the ground skin is
    not shiny most of the time, and vice versa. When
    you see excellent
    sheen, sumi is weak
    most of the times.
    In other words, if you
    do see nice sheen and
    sumi on the same body
    at your supplier, even if
    the pattern may not be
    the greatest (remember:
    pattern is not the first
    priority), you should get it
    right away before another
    dealer with a trained eye
    snaps it up. And you
    should put higher value
    on that koi, for it is a rare
    gem indeed.

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