Koi Carp in Japanese Culture 0 1360

In Japanese culture, the koi carp is a highly respected and very symbolic fish that is closely tied to the country’s national identity.

The koi carp is thought to be a symbol of luck, prosperity, and good fortune within Japan. The name “koi” itself is Japanese and simply means “carp” in the Japanese language.

Koi carp were first produced in Japan during the 1920’s, in the town of Ojiya in the Niigata Prefecture, located on the Northeast coast of Honshu Island.

The wider world was not introduced to the koi carp until the early part of the 20th century, when selectively bred koi from the Niigata Prefecture were first exhibited at the annual exposition in Tokyo.

Interest in koi carp as an ornamental fish quickly spread across Europe and the rest of the world, with all but one of our modern Nishikigoi koi varieties having developed from the small number of ornamental koi originally bred on the Niigata Prefecture.

The koi still remains hugely popular within Japan, and a great many meanings are ascribed to these beautiful fish in their home country.

Perseverance

Japanese koi carpFirstly, the koi signifies perseverance, due to the fish’s tendency to swim upstream, never stop moving, and resist simply “going with the flow.” This symbolism represents how a person can remain strong in the face of adversity, never give up, and develop strength of character, purpose and ultimate success through perseverance.

Strength

The koi is a common symbol of strength and steadfastness in the face of adversity, and the much-admired trait of remaining strong when faced with poor odds. The imagery of koi swimming upriver is often used to symbolize the overcoming of obstacles, and ultimate victory in the face of adversity.

Tattooing

Tattooing is a historical Japanese art form, with its origins in group and cultural affiliations. While purely decorative tattooing is as popular today in Japan as it is anywhere else in the world, in traditional Japanese culture, tattooing is a very meaningful and spiritual process that is not undertaken lightly.

Tattoos of koi carp are used to symbolize transformation and alchemy, and how through perseverance and hard work, the koi can climb steep waterfalls or evolve into dragons, another important symbol of Japanese culture.

The koi also represents wisdom, knowledge, spirituality, loyalty, and longevity.

Color

Color is also relevant when it comes to traditional Japanese koi tattoos and other koi artwork and symbolism.

Black koi symbolize love and overcoming adversity while blue koi are used as a traditional symbol of masculinity and virility. Red koi are used to indicate energy.

Some of the most highly prized and most valuable koi specimens in the world are koi that have a pure white body, with a lone red spot on the head; these koi are regarded as symbolic of the Japanese flag, and are considered to be an incredibly good omen and a highly patriotic symbol.

Learn more about koi carp…

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 386

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 529

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.