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Doitsu Sanke
By Joel Burkard/Pan Intercorp

Doitsu is the Japanese word for “German”, and “Doitsugoi” (German koi) is the word used to describe the various varieties of koi that were created by crossing the Japanese Nishikigoi with the German food carp. The first attempt at this method of cross breeding was done in 1910 by Mr. Yoshigoro Akiyama, who crossed an Asagi with the German carp to produce the Shusui.

Cross breeding in subsequent years has produced Doitsu of nearly every imaginable variety, including the Doitsu Sanke. The Doitsu Sanke featured here belongs to Mr. Makoto Shinmi of Aichi prefecture in Japan. Although he does not know who the breeder was on this koi, Mr. Shinmi took an excellent photo of the Sanke when he purchased it as a 14 inch three year old.

Although the Sanke exhibited the typically distinct colors that Doitsugoi are known for, it appears that the body was a bit thin and the sumi (black) rather over powering, almost to the point of obliterating the red pattern

At three years old this Sanke was 14 inches, and the sumi was a bit overpowering. After being moved into a 25,000 gallon holding pond, it soon grew to just over 20 inches. At five years old, the Sanke has reached 25 inches, It now is kept in a 5000 gallon concrete pond, and the sumi is beginning to re-assert itself.

Soon after purchasing the koi, Mr. Shinmi elected to board it at Okamoto Fish Farms of Okazaki City. The Sanke was kept in a 25,000 gallon holding pond where it soon grew to just over 20 inches. As we can see in the second photo, the black had now finished out nicely into what is referred to as “tsubo sumi”, meaning that the black spots are neatly placed in such a fashion as to be surrounded by white. The receding black exposed the intricacies of the hi (red) pattern, and the additional weight gain makes this a truly imposing koi.

At this stage of it’s development this Sanke took honors in every competition that it was entered in. Best In Variety (Doitsu) at the 25th Tokai District Koi Show, First Place Doitsu 55bu at the 32nd All Japan Show, and last but certainly not least, Best In Variety at the 18th All Japan Young Koi Show, the prestigious “Nippon Ichi” or “Best In Japan” award!

The final photo shows this stunning Doitsu Sanke as it looks today, five years old and 25 inches long. After being kept in Mr. Shinmi’s 5,000 gallon concrete pond for the last year, the Sanke’s sumi has begun to assert itself again with several new spots emerging, and the shape of the original patches undergoing yet another metamorphosis.

Because of their lack of scales, the coloration of Doitsugoi is particularly vivid and this Sanke is certainly no exception. Popular koi lore states that Doitsugoi are likely to lose their luster early in life, but Mr. Shinmi’s Doitsu Sanke certainly puts yet another urban koi myth to the test.


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