Niigata [Japan], May 25 (ANI): Koi fish is one of the most beloved pets in Japan. There are even annual competitions to choose among them the most beautiful fish.
This museum in Niigata showcases some of the winning fishes.
Koi is a kind of "river carp" that is selectively bred in Japan for over two hundred years, and since then it has become one of the most interesting and expensive hobbies to breed them as the price of one Koi could reach thousands of dollars.
The beautiful colour of Koi fish resembles a kimono dress. It is different from western dresses as kimono has a wide variety of colour mixing and matching, beautiful patterns, and designs. Beautiful Koi fish has patterns and colours similar to its Kimono. But the most important point is the bright white colour in those colours.
Breeding Koi in Ojiya town in Niigata Prefecture of Japan first began during the 19th century.
The town was famous for growing rice during the harsh winter but they turned rice field into the pond to raise black carp for eating.
Few farmers noticed a little colour and began to selectively breed Koi to produce more colourful fish, which then became a pet.
Thus began the culture of breeding koi fish, which from Japan spread across the world. Today many amateur and professional breeders come to visit Niigata Prefecture specifically to buy Koi here.
It is estimated that about one million koi fishes are sold in Japan annually. Prices vary a lot as Koi is divided into categories depending on the variety of colours, the way they overlap and the intensity of their lustre. Some customers even order Koi online. So, it is also exported to many countries around the world.
"Right now we have customers all over the world. Most of our customers are from Asia, Africa, Europe, America, Canada, and many more countries," said a Koi breeder.
As Koi can grow very large and live a long life, it has also become a symbol of prosperity and good luck in Japan. (ANI)