Kujaku koi are one of my favorites. One of my oldest and largest koi is a Kujaku koi, and really is a stunning specimen in the pond. So what’s in a name? The Japanese translation of Kujaku is literally ‘peacock’. They have black matsuba scales that have orange – red markings reminiscent of a kohaku. The pectoral fins should be platinum or have a nice motoaka pattern in them.
This fish is relatively new variety, created in the 1960’s by Mr. “Nishi” Hirasawa of the Hiranishi Fish Farms, and has been gaining in popularity over the last several years. So much so, that they now are being judged in a category of their own at koi shows.
It is interesting to note that due to the diverse lineage that went into producing the Kujaku, a single pairing of Kujaku parents can produce offspring including Kohaku, Aka Matsuba, Gin Matsuba, Asagi, Hariwake, Ogon and Kikusui, as well as Doitsu variants of each variety above!
Coloration and Conformation
A good Kujaku is a metallic koi with a net-like pattern of matsuba on its back. This is then overlaid with a pattern similar to a Kohaku, but in gold, yellow, orange or red. The sheen and luster of the skin are an important point to look for since this is a metallic koi. The overlaid color (red, yellow, orange or gold) is also called Beni, and should be balanced across the body as well as allow the matsuba net pattern to show through.
Doitsu Kujaku – Scaleless version with scales appearing only along the dorsal and possibly lateral lines.
Tancho Kujaku – Kujaku with only one mark of Beni on the head
Maruten Kujaku – Kujaku with a round spot on the body