Pattern and Sheen: The metallic appeal of Hikari Moyo

Published on July 1, 2014

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

## Sheen ##

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
Ginrin.

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.

Kujyaku 
Kujyaku

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
Goshiki

■ Kikusui: Metallic Doitsu
Kohaku

■ 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
Kujaku).

## 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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