Goshiki literally translates as ‘five colours’ referring to the five colours present in good specimens – Red, White, Black, Blue & Grey. The history behind the colours of Goshiki are a result of selective breeding.
Goshiki were first produced by breeding Asagi with Kohaku. The result is a fish which demonstrates a White background or base skin colour (known as Shijiro) overlaid with the Grey/Blue net like pattern (known as Fukurin) featured on an Asagi. This is then finished with the splashes of Red (known as Hi) normally witnessed on Kohaku. Much like Kohaku the Hi/Red colour in Goshiki should be rich, akin to the colour used in the Japanese flag. Likewise, the Hi/Red colouration should not extend beyond the eyes or lateral line.
Goshiki colours can be fairly unstable, usually changed by the temperature. In cooler weather Goshiki colours can deepen, in some instances resembling a Magoi (dark Brown/Black Koi). Goshiki come into their own as the weather warms, usually in late spring/early summer, when the Hi/Red will become particularly thick and vibrant. Simultaneously the rich Asagi Blue/Grey will break through, revealing a truly beautiful fish.
Goshiki are simply stunning to see when left to develop properly, and as a result, make a fantastic addition to any Koi keeper’s pond.