NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/1/19

鯉 Koi Koi Carp

Jp En


The Japanese koi carp is native to central Asia and claimed by the Chinese to be the representative of all fish species.

According to the legend of the 'Touryuumon (Climbing Dragon Gate)', of all fish, only the koi was able to swim up the Yellow River to the 'Ryumon (Dragon Gate)', where it would receive divine powers and transform into a dragon. Due to this legend, the koi has always been treated as a joyous fish for celebrations. The decoration of houses with colorful carp banners during the Boys' Festival in May is also due to this legend.

Notes on the breeding of koi as an ornamental fish have been found in the 'Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan)'. They reveal that koi have been raised as ornamental fish throughout the ages.

In addition, koi are vigorous fish and are highly nutritious, best eaten by women who are recovering from childbirth or having trouble producing breast milk, and also by people who have heart or respiratory diseases.

Formerly, koi were said to be of a higher rank than sea-bream and fundamentally necessary for celebratory feasts, but due to the saying that the pelvic fins of the koi have powers to stop childbirth, the fish was deemed taboo for marriages.

There have been theories that Japanese koi were once imported from China, but wild koi have been found in Lake Biwa, proving they are also native to Japan.

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