Matsue Koi Farm
Shimane prefecture south of Japan.
Matsue Koi Farm grew the first Kohaku above 1 meter
There are a number of growers that will leave you a little upset when you first visit. Matsue is one of them. The kind of Kohaku you'll find here is rivaled only in a few places in Japan. The business is run by the sons of the legendary IItsuka Shoichi: Takahiro and Hiroaki. Two extremely sympathetic men whose fame has clearly not risen to the top. The farm has been around for over 40 years and originally mainly Sanke was grown. At the time, Matsue was the only one who managed to get the Sanke over 70 centimeters, so that just about every Sanke breeder in the area purchased his parent stock from Matsue. About thirty years ago, Sensuke stopped and Matsue bought all his fish.
All offspring from the current Sensuke bloodline therefore come from Matsue. In the late 1970s, the Nisai averaged about 35 centimeters. Matsue then started heating in winter, making the Nisai 40 centimeters tall. Today this is the size of the Jumbo Tosai! Through selective breeding and injecting new blood (for Kohaku male koi from Hoshikin, for Sanke male koi from Sakai Hiroshima) a huge increase in growth has been achieved over the years. Not to mention an increase in quality.
Sensuke Kohaku to peak early
The men of Matsue believe that you should not let Sensuke Kohaku "peak" too late, because their quality will deteriorate after about twelve years. The earlier the fish peaks, the longer you can enjoy it. So "finishing" early is not negative for this bloodline. A feeding stop is introduced in January and February. The koi aren't that hungry after all. Due to environmental influences, it is often cloudy and colder in this region. In the spring, however, the temperature in the koi houses quickly rises again towards 20 degrees Celsius. Then the fish go to the mud ponds. From 12 to 20 pairs of parents, about 500 to 700 Nisai are left annually.
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