Hi Utsuri, as the name suggests are Koi Carp with an ink black background or base skin colour (known as Sumi), overlaid with flashes of vivid Red patterning (known as Hi). Hi Utsuri are Koi Carp in the classification Utsurimono, which translates from Japanese as ‘reflections’. This refers to the patterning on a good Hi Utsuri which should be asymmetrical, reflecting the Koi Carps pattern along the back of the fish. The effect can be likened to a checkerboard. Hi Utsuri should also have Black/Sumi on the fins, however this may also be entwined with Red/Hi.
Hi Utsuri were historically a byproduct of breeding Showa Koi carp. They are effectively a Showa, lacking the White (known as Sumi). In recent years Hi Utsuri (and indeed other Utsurimono Koi) have been purposely bred with Utsuri lineages, to produce the high-quality examples we see today. This is largely due to the ever-growing popularity of this Koi variety.
A good Hi Utsuri should be of high quality, demonstrating the signature asymmetric patterning along the back. The colours present in a Hi Utsuri should be in large blocks and have well defined edges.
Hi Utsuri really are beautiful fish and as a result make a superb addition to any Koi pond.