Atarashi Sumi continued...
Here we are confronted with just about every Showa characteristic, menware, motuguru and wrapping sumi from below the lateral line. Thankfully, when we see a more refined specimen (Pic B) we can see that many of these features are already being bred out leaving the Atarashi Sumi exactly where you would expect it on a Sanke.
It has to be said that as charitable as Toshio has been with providing us with some educational photos, he isn’t as charitable when it comes to appreciating our problems. When Alan pointed out the dilemmas that his early releases were likely to cause at benching he wasn’t that forgiving. Alan was curtly reminded that Sanke and Showa have different body shapes as well as different sumi. A Menware pattern on a Sanke just makes it a bad Sanke not a Showa.
However, that’s easy for the great man to say, but it will not be so straightforward for our benching teams when cheap Koi with unrefined Atarashi Sumi come onto the market. But thanks to him and his photographs we have the opportunity to educate the public before those days arrive. This is my first stab at doing just that.
Over the years the breeders, especially those like Toshio Sakai and Minoru Mano (Dainichi) have tried to improve all three of the Go-Sanke varieties often cross-breeding to improve the red and white colours in Showa.
In Sanke one of the by-products of these enhancements has been a decrease in the size and the boldness of the sumi patterns. We can only speculate that this is what has led Toshio Sakai to seek a new (Atarashi) type of sumi.
Looking back at the diagram on page 2 [see Hotspot, issue 6] or the original it was taken from e.g “Live Jewels” or other publications, it is clear to see that more Koi varieties have been developed from the Asagi-Magoi line (it includes all the metallics, the Kurasus, and Shusui) with probably only Showa and Shiro Utsuri being of note from the Tetsu-Magoi line. Both of these have been enhanced by crossing with varieties from the Asagi-Magoi line; Showa with Sanke & Kohaku, and Shiro Utsuri with another form of Shiro developed from the Kurasu & Kumonryu.
These enhancements have clearly led to some muddying of the waters and a mixing of traits, but nevertheless the fundamental difference between these two varieties has always been about the
“Type of Sumi - never just the
indeed location of the sumi on either variety is just a part of the pattern. If it is in the wrong place - it is nothing more than a pattern demerit, not evidence of a different variety.
From what I have learned about Atarashi sumi so far, I think it is going to be very important to bear these points in mind.