Showa- Koi Varieties

The Showa is the last of the traditional ‘big 3’ koi varieties, known as ‘Go Sanke’, Kohaku and Sanke being the other two.

A little bit of history

A young variety compared to many. It was first produced by Jukichi Hoshino back in 1927 when he attemped to cross a yellow and black koi (Ki Utsuri) with a Kohaku (red and white). The variety was gradually improved by more cross breeding until the Showa we know today was produced in the 1960’s.


A Showa is predominantly a black fish with red and white markings as opposed to the Sanke which is basically a white fish with red and black markings. A lot of Koi keepers have trouble telling the difference between the two. Generally they will have much more black than Sanke’s. The head usually has black and the pectorial fins will have black, this is called ‘Motoguru’.
There is traditionally two types, a Hi Showa, this is a mainly black with red markings all down the body.
The second is a Kindai Showa, this is considered more modern and has a lot more white on the body.

Showa For Sale

For more information on Koi Varities please see our full Guide