Happy Koi and Japan

Why do we only primarily deal with Japanese Koi?

Japan vs Local vs Israel vs Taiwan...

It's one of the biggest debates - who has the best Koi?

We've made our decision - an easy one to make actually.

Perhaps Koi started in Japan or perhaps they originated in China, many years ago. However there is no denying that the Japanese are the ones who brought Nishikigoi into the hobby that it is today. They created the industry and they created the bloodlines and varieties that we have today using nothing but their expertise in selective breeding.

Most Japanese Koi breeders are multi generation businesses. And like the floating factory that Japan is, so too are the Koi that come from Japan - of the highest consistent quality and from the oldest most established breeding bloodlines in the world.

Upcoming breeders from Israel, Taiwan and even our local breeders simply do not have the time behind their Koi that the Japanese do. Establishing a breeding pair takes a decade. Establishing a bloodline takes a century. And it is not as easy as popping over to Japan, laying out a bunch of cash and buying a bunch of bloodline Koi from which to breed. At best, IF you get this right, as we say above it'll take you a decade to establish a breeding pair that works. In other words it'll take the time that the Japanese would have put to good use in producing still better quality Koi tomorrow than they do today.

It means, that in our opinion, at best, all other breeders are a decade behind the Japanese.

It's not that we're not tempted either. You get some stunning Koi coming from other countries, and they're amazingly cheap to boot. But we're of the opinion that over the 30 years or so you can realistically expect Koi to live for - what you pay for the Koi is not as important as the potential in the Koi.

Then there is the Japanese way of doing business. They are forced to keep only the best Koi for growing on since their space is constrained in ways that we cannot imagine. So the best bloodlines are culled to the best standards by the best eyes with the best experience in the world. Of course the Koi cost a little more as a result - but you can clearly see what it is that you get from the Koi!

Business relationships with the Japanese are also poorly understood. Some say it is more like a marriage than a relationship and we have found that to be true! We have long established relationships with our agents and our breeder friends that we visit when in Japan and these are leverage to our mutual benefits - we get better prices and preferred access to Koi - and the breeders get our ongoing, exclusive support.

We also have a deep understanding of how our Koi are handled in Japan. We have seen our agent at work shipping Koi. We understand the procedures that are followed and we can trust them. Our relationships are on a one on one basis which is something that cannot really be valued but which is invaluable nonetheless!

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. So far we have had no major incidents involving fish health and we aim to keep it that way. The horror stories we have heard of within the industry are enough to keep us awake at night and certainly whilst we're tempted by the price of Koi from other countries we're able to avoid this temptation by reverting to our Japanese Only import philosophy!

Now, what about local Koi?

Of course as a South African business we like to support other South African business, Koi breeders included. We are of the opinion that local breeders are certainly capable of matching other countries in terms of quality of Koi bred and so on occasion we will buy in the best of the best from local breeders when we find the right quality of Koi that match our standards.