Yamato Nishiki are a truly beautiful variety of Koi, created by cross-breeding Sanke with a Purachina. The result a Koi with a metallic White background or base skin colour (known as Shiroji), overlaid with splashes of Red (known as Hi) and Black (known as Sumi). The difference between a Sanke and a Yamato Nishiki is in the metallic skin. When a Koi Carp is described as metallic, the easiest way of defining this by looking at the fins which will be opaque (i.e., not transparent). The skin of a metallic fish may also look reflective under certain light. To put it simply Yamato Nishiki are metallic Sanke.
Yamato Nishiki come as both scaled and scaleless varieties. Scaleless skin (known as Doitsu) is derived from cross breeding Koi with similarly scaleless German mirror carp. Yamato Nishiki displaying such scaleless skin would therefore be known as Doitsu Yamato Nishiki.
When selecting a Yamato Nishiki, the Koi should be of high quality, with beautiful White metallic skin demonstrating excellent lustre. The patterning should reflect that of a quality Sanke i.e. Splashes of primary Red/Hi (in the style of a Kohaku) with the addition of jet Black/Sumi markings. The Black/Sumi should be evenly distributed as small patches along the body of the Koi resembling blotches of ink, solid in colour with well-defined edges.
Yamato Nishiki are eye-catching Koi Carp, and as a result, make a fantastic addition to a Koi pond.