The asagi has being chosen as the special variety for all the South African koi shows that take place this year. The asagi is one of the oldest varieties of koi and has provided the basis for many subsequent varieties. These koi were developed from one of the three types of magoi – the black carp – which is the ancestor of all modern nishikigoi varieties (nishikigoi, the Japanese word for koi, means ‘brocaded carp’). The asagi magoi featured blue-black colourings and scales with a netting effect. Two types of asagi have developed from the asagi magoi. The first is the konjo asagi, which is dark blue and is very similar to the magoi. The second variety, and the one from which the modern asagi are developed, is the natumi asagi. The natumi asagi is lighter in colour and its scales have a dark blue centre, paling towards their edges.

Asagi colours

Asagi are fully scaled, non-metallic koi. The blue coloration varies, with the lighter blue shade being the preferred colour. The scales are distinct with darker blue centres and lighter blue edges. The red or deep orange on the head, sides and the pectoral fins should be strong in colour and the redder the better.

There are six asagi colour types:

  1. Narumi asagi: the typical light blue patterned type.
  2. Konjo asagi: more black than blue.
  3. Mizu asagi: a very light type.
  4. Asagi sanke: pale blue back, red head and red flanks and a pure white belly.
  5. Taki asagi: the blue body is divided from its red sides by a white line.
  6. Hi asagi: the hi marking extends over the lateral line – sometimes up to the dorsal.

Asagi patterns

The head should be light blue-grey in colour with no black or speckling. The red markings are found along the cheeks and should reach the eyes, and all the red markings must be symmetrical. The red (called hi) should extend beneath the lateral line and the belly should be white. The pattern on the back should be even over its entire length and the scales should be outlined clearly. The red should extend into the base of the fins.


The scales should be in perfect alignment, each with a whitish edge bordered by a darker inner area, which grows lighter towards the point of each scale. This creates an appearance similar to netting and the more precise and complete the netting pattern is, the more valuable the asagi.

Good luck to all the koi hobbyists showing fish this year; I am sure there will be many beautiful asagi amongst the koi on show. If you’re not showing your koi yet then do go along to your nearest show to see what you have to look forward to as your koi collection develops. {

2010 Koi Shows

· Gauteng: The National Koi Show will be held at Cresta Shopping Centre over the weekend of 15 and 16 May 2010.

· KwaZulu-Natal: The Lake Eland Game Reserve KwaZulu-Natal Koi Show will be held at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping (Parkade C) in Umhlanga over the weekend of 24 and 25 July 2010. For more details contact Mike Harvey, 032 946 1003 or

· Eastern Cape: The EC show is scheduled for the weekend of 14 and 15 August 2010. The venue is still to be advised.

· Western Cape: The WC show is scheduled for the weekend of 28 and 29 August 2010. The venue is still to be advised.

Asagi koi © Mike Harvey

Article written by Angela Beckx of Koi @ Jungle. Contact Angela on 031 209 8781 or visit: Koi @ Jungle also stocks swimming pool products and equipment.

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