Koi Fish

COLLECTOR: MASAO MATSUDA, 25000 ITEMS

I have been collecting Nishikigoi (koi) for 10 years. Before I started collecting I was a breeder at Yamakoshi village, the birthplace of koi. After I stopped breeding them, I started collecting. I have between 20,000 and 30,000. Koi are beautiful, peaceful fish — always swimming with elegance. They make me feel relaxed. It’s very difficult to know whether small koi will be best or regular grade when they grow. Collectors and breeders need insight into which ones will be the best.

The Nishikigoi is the national fish of Japan, and my home town is its birthplace, so I am proud to talk about koi.
Masao Matsuda, 87, Yamakoshi, Japan

My favorite variety is the Gosanke. It’s quite popular. The All Japan Koi Show grand champions are almost always of this variety. I spend around four to six hours per day on this hobby. I often meet collectors at my pond. They’re Japanese and foreign koi lovers who come to Yamakoshi village on a koi buying trip. Once a foreign couple came to my pond and asked me for one of my koi. I didn’t want to give the koi away, but I gave them one because they were so eager. Then they hugged and kissed for a long time at my pond. I was very surprised because Japanese people never show such things to anyone.