Showa (also known as Showa Sanshoku) are a variety of highly regarded Koi Carp. Sankshoku literally translates as ‘three colours’ therefore it is no surprise that Showas demonstrate three distinct colourings. The skin of a Showa should be ink black (known as Sumi). This is overlaid with Red (known as Hi) and White (known as Shiroji) markings.
As the Showa has Black/Sumi skin it will have colouration in front of the eyes and below the lateral line, which differentiates it from both Kohaku ad Sanke. Finally, Showa almost always demonstrates Black/Sumi in the knuckle of the fins.
The Showa variety of Koi Carp were created by breeder Jyukichi Hoshino in 1927 – 1929. This period of Japanese history was known as the Showa era, due to the reign of Emperor Shōwa, for which these beautiful Koi were named after. The original Showa was a result of cross-breeding Matsukawabke with Ki Utusri resulting in a fish which resembled the Showa we know today. Over the following 30 years, Mr. Hoshino would experiment cross-breeding the early washed-out Showa with Kohaku to strengthen the Red/Hi and White/Shiroji.
The Showa is a member of the Koi classification, Gosanke. The Gosanke group includes the koi varieties Kohaku, Sanke and Showa. These extremely well established and stable Koi varieties are considered the best or most important varieties in Koi keeping, and routinely win the All-Japan Koi Show. Showa truly are an awe-inspiring variety of Koi Carp, combining both traditional and modern beauty which is hard not to appreciate. Showa, therefore, make a fantastic addition to any Koi pond.