Kōhaku (fish)

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The Kōhaku ( Japanese紅白, literally: red-white ) is a Nishikigoi (錦鯉, short form = Koi ), a colored carp. It has a white basic color with red markings (火Hi , literally: fire ) on the back (see picture) that goes over the head (red color on the head is not a condition for a correct Kohaku!). The fins shouldn't be red. The Kōhaku is one of the first varieties that were specifically bred. It is one of the most popular cultivated forms of Koi in Japan . These Koi mostly win the Grand Champion in Japan.

Kohaku means red and white; the term is only used in this way in koi breeding. In contrast to the word beni , which also means red, hi is only used with Kohakus. The term beni is used, for example, with Benigoi , which is a single purple color. Otherwise it is rarely used in connection with Koi in the cultivated forms Sanke and Showa , because too large a red area makes them inferior.


  • Tanchō Kōhaku (丹 頂 紅白) - He is one of the most famous Kōhaku. On the head there is a circular hi (red), which according to popular belief is supposed to represent the Japanese flag . A Tanchō is a Japanese red-crowned crane whose red head spot is not circular, but elongated. If the tancho is round, it is called an ippon.
  • Inazuma Kōhaku (稲 妻 紅白) - Inazuma stands for lightning. The red is arranged in a zigzag pattern on the back.
  • Nidan Kōhaku (二段 紅白) - two-spot kōhaku.
  • Sandan Kōhaku (三 段 紅白) - triangle kōhaku.
  • Yondan Kōhaku (四段 紅白) - four-point kōhaku.
  • Godan Kōhaku (五 段 紅白) - five-point kōhaku.
  • Maruten Kōhaku - He has a single red spot on his head and other hi spots on his body (tancho with further red spots).
  • Menkaburi Kōhaku - The Hi (red) goes over the entire head.
  • Kuchibeni Kōhaku (口紅 紅白, literally: lipstick kōhaku) - lip stain kohaku (kissable mouth kohaku ); he looks like he's put on lipstick.
  • Kanoku Kohaku - the Koi is spotted red.
  • Doitsu Kōhaku (独 紅白, literally: German Kōhaku ) - It can occur as any of the varieties represented here. It is a cross with the European mirror carp and has a leathery skin. It cannot be a sanke since sanke are tri-colored. It is just an almost scale-free Kohaku - scales still appear occasionally on the back or on the sidelines.