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"Kumonryu - Forever a Tategoi"
By Joel Burkard/Pan Intercorp

The Kumonryu is a Doitsu koi that has an inky black pattern that emerges like billowing black thunder clouds against a snow white background. The variety is said to have been developed by breeding a Shusui with a Matsukawa Bakke.

Mr. Eiji Tsuchikata of Tokyo purchased this Kumonryu as an almost all white, one year old, 5 inch koi in the spring of 1992. Taken in September of 1993, the second photo shows a marked change in the pattern of the sumi (black) and a distinct improvement on the clarity of the white background.

The third photo shows the 17 inch Kumonryu with a most striking pattern as it appeared in January of 1994 when it took top honors 45bu Kumonryu at the 26th Tokyo Taikai Show.

Kumonryu 1 year old, 5 inches Spring 1992 Kumonryu September 1993 Kumonryu 17 inches January 1994 Kumon Utsuri

Because of the unstable nature of the sumi, the Kumonryu's pattern can change at the drop of a hat, from all white to completely black with every imaginable variation in between. Although it is still uncertain what exactly causes the changes, contributing factors can be: water temperature, water quality, diet, stress, etc.

The ever-changing nature of the Kumonryu is what makes these koi such a joy to own, forever a tategoi.

Recently, the increasing popularity of the Kumonryu has prompted experimental breeding on the part of several Japanese breeders. Mr. Hirasawa of Hiranishi Fish Farms in Niigata has been somewhat successful in stabilizing the sumi pattern by breeding a Kumonryu to a doitsu Shiro Utsuri.

The result is this Kumon Utsuri, a one-of-a-kind Kawarigoi belonging to Harry and Letha Jacobsmuhlen of Cornelius, Oregon. Note the unique nature of the sumi, showing characteristics of both Kumonryu and Shiro Utsuri.

Mr. Hirasawa reports that subsequent breedings have not yielded any more Kumon Utsuri, but assures us that he will continue in his efforts to create truly unique koi.


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