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DEC_JAN2011ofc

The Hikarimuji (sometimes called Hikarimono) are the shining jewels of any pond. Ogons, Parachina Ogon, Orenji Ogon are some of the beautiful Koi in the Hikarimuji class. Jim Phillips suggests that every pond should have one.

 

Website_writers_Jim_Phillips

Hikari is Japanese for shining and Muji is plain or single coloured. These single colour metallic Koi are very popular with hobbyists, perhaps more so in the west than in Japan. Their luster and presence in a pond make them particularly attractive to beginners. They have perhaps, unfairly, gained a reputation as a beginner's Koi; in fact, there are many subtle points to their appreciation.

Originally, the term Ogon referred to the gold coloured Koi first bred in the 1940s by the Sawata Aoki family. Now, the term Ogon is used for all the different colour variations that are available.

 

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The Ogon has been cross bred with almost every variety of Koi to produce a wide range of metallic Koi. By cross breeding with single colour non-metallic Koi, many different colours were developed in the 1950s and 1960s. These include the Yamabuki Ogon yellow, Purachina Ogon platinum white, Orenji Ogon orange, Nezu Ogon mouse grey, Hi Ogon metallic red, Mukashi Ogon bronze and even Kuro Ogon metallic black.

As there is no pattern the scalation should be perfectly aligned. The metallic luster must be high on every scale. In larger Ogons a netting effect of the scales can be seen. This is called Fukurin and is due to the growth of the skin between the scales. It gives the overall impression of depressed scales and adds to the overall beauty of the Koi. Fukurin is highly appreciated. The luster in the fins should be complete. Incomplete luster appears as striped rays or an irregular transparent edge to the pectoral fins. The colour of the Ogon should also extend into the fins. The head must be clean and shiny without blemish. In young individuals there may be small wrinkles or tiny holes visible on the head. These are a good signs for the future refinement of the Koi. As with most varieties, Doitsu, scaleless, specimens have been produced. At shows, these Doitsu do not compete well against fully scaled Ogons.

Ogons are fast growers and can attain jumbo size if given enough good clean water. Unfortunately, conformation problems are quite common in this variety and there is a tendency for them to become too squat or pot-bellied. Another well-known problem is small or misshapen pectoral fins. Large, rounded pectoral fins are preferred, so examine the fins closely when choosing a new addition to your pond.

The breeder usually culls Ogons with black markings on the head. Some, however, make their way on to the market. They are sold as ghost Koi, as the head marking can resemble a skull. The Japanese call them Kabuto, which means hobo or rubbish. Somewhat confusingly, Matsuba Ogons, where each scale has a dark center are benched and judged as Hikarimuji and not Hikarimoyo. The dark center of the scale is considered a darker shade of the single colour and not a second colour. They have their own terminology and are referred to as Gin Matsuba silver, Kin Matsuba gold, Kinporai bronze and Kin Hi Matsuba red. The Doitsu Kin Hi Matsuba is extremely rare and has a special name, Mizuho that means rice ears. Kin Gin Rin Ogons are also judged as Hikarimuji and not Kin Gin Rin B.

Despite the popularity of Ogons, good examples with good conformation and high luster are quite rare. As well as being eye catching, they contrast with and complement the Gosanke varieties in your Koi collection.

 

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Every pond should have one.