Goshiki pronounced (gosh-key or Go-she-key by some) are an interesting breed of Koi. The name means ‘five colors” in Japanese, but frankly it is not a fitting name in my opinion with today’s Goshiki. You do not readily see five colors at a glance and it is a stretch to do so no matter. This is one breed I feel the Japanese creators misnamed. Most times the Japanese names are right on the money as for descriptive names that tell a story of what the Koi breed looks like. The name was probably created because of the look of some of the first Goshiki created when they crossed a Sanke to and Asagi. Today however I don’t see the “:five colors) easily. Anyway, enough about that.
The Goshiki basically a white based Koi that has a fishnet black pattern on top of the white base that covers the entire back and runs from the top of the back down to the lateral line (center line of the side of the fish that runs from gill plate to tail base). On top of the fishnet pattern there is a red or orange pattern similar to the Kohaku. This pattern is called the Hi (hee) plate. One difference in this Hi plate from Goshiki to Kohaku is that the Goshiki Hi tends to be much thicker, bolder and more neon in color intensity as compared to the Kohaku Hi plate which can be a glossy red/orange but not neon. The Goshiki Hi plate actually glows and gives the impression of thickness to the point that the Hi plate can look like a sticker stuck on top of the fishes fishnet pattern.
There are also offshoot breeds from Goshiki called Goshiki Sanke and Goshiki Showa. We won’t get into those details now though.
A Good Goshiki
A good Goshiki should have a clean fishnet pattern with no specs or black spots thrown in to disrupt the fishnet look. The neon red or orange as described above should be thick, and have good clean and crisp edges to the Hi plate. You don’t want to see any holes in that hi plate, but it is ok at times that the black fishnet pattern show through the Hi plate. This is dependent on the age of the fish as to whether it is a detriment or not. As they mature the Hi plate should and usually does thicken with time, and the fishnet pattern will no longer show thru. The degree of thickening of the Hi plate is a distinctive trait of the Goshiki. However, in all this, the Goshiki can be a very unstable fish when speaking of color development. It is not uncommon that many Goshiki end up losing that hi plat all together. If that happens you are left with quite an ugly fish. The risks however are worth the reward if they develop properly. They are simply stunning to see!