Skin v Shiroji
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Not the same thing! I think many hobbyists confuse skin quality and shiroji. Although related, I feel the 2 things are actually independent. A koi with great shiroji may have skin which is not as good as another koi which is (temporarily) looking less white. Moving to the human analogy, a woman may have great skin, ie blemish free and glowing skin with really fine pores, but is currently looking tanned because she went to the beach last weekend, as compared to another woman who is very fair but skin is not glowing and her pores on closer examination are much bigger.

    Coming back to koi, good skin has a very silken look to it, like translucent. Sometimes when the koi is under a little stress (eg during medication or even during show time), the skin can turn slightly yellowish but it doesn't detract from the fact that it has good skin. Another koi may have (for the moment) better shiroji but perhaps inferior skin because the look of the shiroji is like paper or cotton, and not silk.

    So for this Sunday morning, just some food for thought. :) Good shiroji is not necessarily great skin. Many koi have good shiroji but only average skin. IMHO, it is much much more difficult to find a koi with great skin. So when both factors come together, ie great skin and great shiroji, it is truly a sight to behold!
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-25 04:30:40 pm
  • ikankoikauikankoikau September 2011
    Posts: 1,053
    Agreed with you bro. Same thing with beni and sumi. Red beni doesn't meant better than orengy beni. I noticed that even deep red beni kohaku with good body can't take any of the top spot in the show.
    Good shiroji will have some silky shine effect. Good sumi will have lacquer effect and good beni should be thick and shiny. You can hardly see the scale's edges.

    Talking about women's skin, the Korean is a good example. Even the Japanese can't match them. Must be the kimchi effect ;-)
  • megatronmegatron September 2011
    Posts: 832
    Bro Capt, Korean used bb cream to cover their skin. That's why they look great. Hahahahah
    Don't ask me why!!!
  • JamesJames September 2011
    Posts: 1,964
    Bro Daniel, BB cream contrary to popular understanding was created by the Germans. But yes they r used most frequently by Koreans.
  • ShukriShukri September 2011
    Posts: 4,881
    Good skin SHINES.....silky smooth, and Persimmon RED is what the Japanese prefer for BENI. Blood or dark Red Beni is not always the best....... Shirogi as white as the Fuji Snow......is preferred.
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    I feel that the wonderful Korean skin is partly genetics and also partly cool weather. That's why I would always recommend chillers (if cost is not a problem) for hobbyists in tropical countries. :-D And also shading from too much direct sunlight.
  • JamesJames September 2011
    Posts: 1,964
    Bro Paul, I find food got a lot to do with it too. The current wheatgerm I am using is not so good for whites. My kois were much whiter before. But I'll know better when I switch back after my current wheatgerm finishes. FYI, most of the water used in Korean skincare is from natural springwater. So again it comes down to water quality.

    Bro Shukri, the soft white u're referring to is to die for. But v hard to find or maintain lor. I had a kohaku with this shiroji. Unfortunately it had boarded a flight to Japan. :-))
  • lautslauts September 2011
    Posts: 1,248
    Bro James ,

    You seem to know a lot abt cosmetic , skin care etc. You use them meh :/ or maybe like to hang out at cosmetic counters checking out the skin types of Asian women :-)) :-))

    ts
  • shawnshawn September 2011
    Posts: 14
    Bro. PH8 & Shifu
    I have one small Shiro Utsuri, the body skin is white bit the head more towards yellowish. Is it like that when it is about six inches.

    Thanks
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    I don't have much experience with 6" koi, so I cannot answer that question, maybe others can. Bro James, I thought wheatgerm was much better than the high growth foods when it comes to shiroji? If your koi are turning yellow with wheatgerm, I suspect something else is wrong. JMHO. Maybe too much colour food or some other stressor. Most whitening foods (eg Nobori) are wheatgerm foods.

    Again, we are digressing from the topic. Skin and shiroji ARE different issues. You can have very white whites but average skin, that's the message I'm trying to pass through. Shiroji as white as Fuji snow only applies to shiros and showas. The whites for sanke and kohakus are different, more creamy and more like your ceramic toilet bowl! Take a look at the different varieties in your pond and you will realise the difference.

    Yes it will always be difficult to maintain good skin in our high temperatures. Which is why I mentioned chillers and shading.
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-26 07:37:28 am
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Let me try to explain it another way. If we give our koi good food and good water, we can make their shiroji as white as it can possibly be, but we cannot make their skin nicer than their genetic limit. I feel that skin quality is genetic. All the koi in the same pond water eating the same food, but maybe only one (and only if we're lucky!) seems to have that special skin quality. Skin is more about texture and glow/shine than about plain whiteness. Not sure if I am making sense to you guys or not... Maybe I'm not articulating this so well.

    Of course if we give the koi lousy water and/or food, even a koi with good skin genetics will deteriorate.
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-26 07:35:42 am
  • SBSRIDHARSBSRIDHAR September 2011
    Posts: 50
    Bro Shawn,

    Now you have to concentrate only on growth. So feed with hi-grow foods. When the fish growing fast the color will get slightly dull. But the shiroji will be the same on Shiro. The head yellowish color might get change over a period like when it reach more then 30cm.

    S.B. Sridhar
    Post edited by SBSRIDHAR at 2011-09-26 07:49:47 am
  • JamesJames September 2011
    Posts: 1,964
    Bro Lau, u're right... I do have a cosmetic outlet so I did have to hang out there a lot.

    Bro Paul I do not feed colour food. And with yellow I meant off white. Skin quality and shiroji are not that easy to tell apart. Skin that glows are usually white too. I m unsure if there can be glow for yellow shiroji.... Because as it yellows, skin quality deteriorates too. Just that if skin quality is good, it is easier to improve.
  • SBSRIDHARSBSRIDHAR September 2011
    Posts: 50
    The skin and shiroj both are genetic only. Depends up on the water quality, food and environment will take the maximum genetic level or lower level. I have develop kois less than 3 inch to more than 40cm. Basically the shiroji should be good one.

    S.B. Sridhar
  • shawnshawn September 2011
    Posts: 14
    Bro. SBSRIDHAR,

    Thank you for your advise.
  • raymond_ongraymond_ong September 2011
    Posts: 90
    Bro Paul, very agreed with you, though no budget for chiller, do put shading (double layers of orchid netting). Improvement on shiroji is noticeable.

    Remembered Bro James told during a visit to his pond (thnkz for the invitation Bro James, it was certainly a very educated one indeed), he is now 0% colour food. Maybe Bro James can keep us inform on the wheat germ issue.

    Bro lauts, don't under estimate Bro James, i think he just stand at entrance of the shopping mall, women will come and let him check on their skin. Haha

  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Bro Raymond, just one word of warning about orchid netting, as shared with me by Brother David. Orchid netting is porous, as you know. Birds tend to come and rest on the orchid netting and shit there. Bird shit is also a source of parasites including fish lice. When it rains, all the bird shit will be washed into the pond.
  • JamesJames September 2011
    Posts: 1,964
    Bro Raymond, not sure to take your comment positively or negatively le ... :-))
  • KaajKaaj September 2011
    Posts: 376
    Interesting :)

    My definition of skin quality - refers to the colors themselves being consistent - white, red, black, or what have you. It is always nice to see clean translucent like shiroji though. I think judges value skin as much as bodyline.

    Patten and sharpness (kiwa, sashi) would be classified as the finishing.
  • ShukriShukri September 2011
    Posts: 4,881
    Bro Kaaj,
    How to be consistent with regards to skin quality and color? The areas covered by clothing will definitely be lighter than the ones exposed to the sun. Unless sun bathing in the nude with copper tone topical application......... :-)) :-D
    Sure can win GC after that..........
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Maybe a good way to differentiate skin and shiroji would be to give an example of a koi that many local hobbyists here recently saw. I'm talking about Bro Daniel Lee's Seijuro showa at Aka Koi last month. It beat all the other non ginrin showas to win 1st prize, non ginrin category. Was it the biggest koi? No. Did it have the best shiroji? No, not at all. It was in fact slightly yellowish from the stress. Why did it win then? Well, it had good body conformation, decent quality (beni mainly, sumi still not totally finished), balanced pattern AND the best skin. The white wasn't the best, but IMHO, the skin was. Btw, it's a HE. :)
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-27 10:20:34 pm
  • lautslauts September 2011
    Posts: 1,248
    Maybe a picture would help? Enclosed my Yamamatsu showa sansai female. Very good shiroji , but poor skin. One of the whitest in my pond , but the skin poor. Characterised by not sharp kiwa and sashi blurred , bleeding beni , basically see thro skin to reveal underlying beni and sumi which should not be the case for a sansai , tosai/nisai ok ? I might be wrong , maybe the koi has not finished. Feel free to comment.

    ts

    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/4198/Shiroji.JPG
    Attachments
    Shiroji.JPG 70K
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Bro Lau, from this photo the skin doesn't look that bad but maybe it's this photo only. But I'm glad to see some support that skin and shiroji are different. :-D Many newer hobbyists equate whiteness with skin quality. As you know, a koi can be very white but not have very good skin.
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-28 12:16:10 am
  • lautslauts September 2011
    Posts: 1,248
    A koi with good skin , in fact it had fukurin, very rare for a tosai/ake nisai from Igarashi. See the tight sashi, kiwa and even beni. Someone once said , you can't have good painting on poor quality paper , something like that la.

    ts
    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/4199/FukuKohakA.JPG
  • raymond_ongraymond_ong September 2011
    Posts: 90
    Bro lauts, may i ask the definition of fukurin. I'm very lousy at all these Japanese term. Although heard it's a layer of skin grew between scales, but i just don't understand and cannot differentiate.
    Post edited by raymond_ong at 2011-09-28 05:50:20 am
  • lautslauts September 2011
    Posts: 1,248
    Bro Raymond,

    See the netting like skin forming around the scale , thats fukurin. Can see clearly on tosai ogon and kujakus , but seen only on gosankes above sansai normally.

    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/4201/Fukurin Kohak.JPG

    ts
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Bro Lau, just run something by you. I think Fukurin by Japanese breeders' definition is skin which grows out from underneath a scale and overlaps onto the next scale, making the scales look embedded. Well, it actually IS embedded, because if you need to remove a scale for whatever reason, you'd need to cut through the fukurin skin as well.

    Since skin takes time to grow, it did not seem to make sense that tosais can have fukurin. I thought about it for a long time and a possible reason I came out with is that at tosai age, the scales ARE actually still small and growing, which therefore makes them look embedded but they're actually not. There's just more space between the scales at that young age. As the koi grows, the scales grow bigger as well, but the fukurin is also growing and somehow even on huge fish, their scales look (but only look) small because fukurin is already covering part of the scales.

    Does it make sense?
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-28 05:39:51 am
  • lautslauts September 2011
    Posts: 1,248
    Bro Paul ,

    You don't need to remove the fukurin to remove the scale. I learn from my recently demised male jumbo :-( ochiba , can get a tweezer and pull gently at the exposed end to remove it. The fukurin forms the top part of a pocket like structure which holds the scale in place, similar like our human nail on finger structure.

    We know that some variety like kujaku and ogons have fukurin at very early tosai age. I think on other varieties like gosankes , the base fukurin structure is there but not visible at young age. Fukurin on gosanke will only grow outward to cover more scale and thickened later making it visible on sansai or older kois. There are exceptions to some bloodlines of gosanke like Igarashi kohaku can have fukurins at early age. If you see Bro Elmen's koi blog he reported the same phenomenon of fukurin on Igarashi kohakus. I do not find it on my igarashi sankes though , only this kohaku.

    ts
  • ashfaqashfaq September 2011
    Posts: 799
    Bro Lauts,
    Is the circle part or Rectangle part you are referring as Fukurin?
    Please correct me

    koianswers.com/discussion/download/4204/Fukurin Kohak.JPG.jpg
    Thanks,
    Ashfaq from India-Chennai
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Bro Lau, this kohaku is not a good photo to demonstrate fukurin as the scales still look very big. On bigger fish, the skin part looks like even more than the scales part. The scales will look really small on such big fish. Reason being that the fukurin has grown to cover much of the scales. Maybe your fish not big enough yet. For these fish, I believe the end of the scale is actually not exposed but covered by the fukurin?

    Whilst I haven't personally actually tried to lift the scales on a big fish, I notice that the shape of the scales on big fish is not consistently rounded and regular due to the skin that is covering the scale edges. Normally fish scales are quite regular shaped, you can see that when you descale a fish at home in the kitchen.

    During the Asia Cup show earlier this year, the goromo showa which won GC Non-gosanke had beautiful fukurin which was so shiny. I remember telling Captain Borman that this was an excellent fish to demonstrate what fukurin is. Not every fish has such nice fukurin.
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-28 05:10:10 pm
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    I know Fukurin is a topic which is difficult to understand, especially for newer hobbyists, so I am providing a link to a good Bito discussion on it.

    http://www.koi-bito.com/forum/main-forum/9257-give-me-definition-fukurin.html

    To me, I agree more with Richard Rombold's last comment rather than JR's view. It's JMHO. Fukurin only looks outstanding on a big show fish if the fish is blessed with good skin quality, with a high guanine content. Lots of big fish can have fukurin, but if the skin quality of the fish is poor, you will never notice it. But it is fukurin anyway. Fukurin is the skin extensions which have grown to cover almost half of the adjoining scales. It takes years to grow. I find it hard to accept that a tosai can have fukurin. Those are just skin in the spaces between small scales, not the same thing. Again, JMHO.
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-28 05:08:12 pm
  • megatronmegatron September 2011
    Posts: 832
    Bro Paul, could it be the koi has reached its maturity although it looks small "we called it as Tosai" but in actual fact, it is a stunting koi? which shown fukurin scales.
    Don't ask me why!!!
  • KaajKaaj September 2011
    Posts: 376
    Bro Ashfaq, Those things that you highlighted are "shimi" - ie. shinny spots (ginrin) which is not eye pleasing. Many koi have this, but if it is on the shoulder and head, it is considered to take away from the beauty of the koi.

    Bro Lau,
    I think on the old forum, David had confirmed this as fukurin on your tossai. Personally, I am still unsure about this fukurin business. I know its easier to see on the shiroji of larger koi, because it looks almost like gold lines surrounding the scales which bulge out.

    Paul,
    Are you suggesting that shiroji be looked at seperately from the other colors on a koi? Shigeru Mano used the word "thick shiroji" to describe humpty during the GO which I suppose means they look at is as a color, and not just a lack of color


    :-?
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Bro Kaaj, yes shiroji is a colour. Not lack of colour. On black based fish, white colour supposedly covers the black. Fukurin is nothing to do with colour. It is skin. It will appear on any colour skin, whether white or red or yellow or black or whatever. It's just more obvious on certain colour backgrounds.

    Shimmies are just unwanted black spots on varieties that are not supposed to have sumi, eg kohaku. It has nothing to do with ginrin. Shimmies anywhere on the body are demerits, depending on how obvious, severity of which depends on where they are.

    Bro Daniel, I haven't seen much stunted koi so I'm not sure.
    Post edited by PH8 at 2011-09-28 07:04:25 pm
  • ShukriShukri September 2011
    Posts: 4,881
    Fukurin is that layer underneath the scales that grows and expands outwards to cover the preceding scales. This is the early phase of the Fukurin. As these Fukurins keep growing and expanding, it will eventually overlay another Fukurin layer, eventually the two layer will fuse together. At this stage, the scales will be underneath the Fukurin layers.....and what makes the skin shines and exhibits a very high quality skin......... :-D
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • PH8PH8 September 2011
    Posts: 683
    Spot on, Abang Shukri. Not many hobbyists understand fukurin, especially when we don't have the chance to see huge fish everyday. Even a local koi judge is clueless as to what fukurin is.

    One more attempt to paraphrase. Fukurin is skin, but not all skin is fukurin. Only the skin that has grown to cover part of the adjacent scale. Bro Ashfaq, if you are beginning to understand fukurin, you will understand why it is kind of difficult to circle the fukurin in the photo.
  • ashfaqashfaq September 2011
    Posts: 799
    What i came to understand about fukurin is the white puffs of skin in between the scales is called as fukurin.
    Finaly i know what Fukurin is, thank you soooo much brothers for teaching me :)
    Thanks,
    Ashfaq from India-Chennai
  • yy988yy988 March 2012
    Posts: 62
    hi

    i want to know how to bring up good shiroji? what contribute to the shiroji of the koi fish?
    my fish shiroji is a bit dull.

    thanks
  • HDCuHDCu March 2012
    Posts: 1,117
    Good shiroji is the result of genetics and bloodline, proper food, water quality, In some degrees temperature, exposure to sunlight and application of conditioning agents like clay, etc.

    A tosai with starting good skin quality does not guarantee it will have same or improve good skin quality when it reaches mature or jumbo size. Likewise, a tosai with not so good skin quality to begin with may improve its skin quality as it grows.

    Many kois that are geared for show are "conditioned" a month or more to improve its skin quality which include the quality of its shiroji. Koi shows are like beauty pageant. Hehe.


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