Getting to Know Asagi & Shusui Koi Fish Varieties

Varieties of Asagi & Shusui

When it comes to koi, the Asagi and its scaleless counterpart, the Shusui, are stunning species that certainly catch the eye. The deep blues of their bodies, interspersed with a darker shade, lend a distinctive character to these fish, making them unique additions to any koi collection.


The Shusui variety was a pioneering success story in the creation of scaleless or 'doitsu' koi, dating back to around 1917. Mr. Akiyama is credited with this achievement, who created this variety by breeding a mirror carp from Europe (known as Kagamigoi) with an Asagi.

Why are Blue Koi Special?

Blue koi bring a unique touch to your collection with their intriguing style and character. Asagi koi, in fact, have a history spanning around 150 years, earning them the distinction of being the first recognized koi variety. When it comes to the scaleless Asagi, or Shusui, their name translates to 'autumn water', a poetic tribute to their distinctive blue scales that resemble a stream flowing down the fish's body. This is further enhanced by the red markings on either side, vividly resembling Japanese maple leaves in autumn.

Examining the Asagi Koi


Asagi Koi Color

An Asagi should have a clean head with a pale white or blue hue. The only color should be restricted to the cheeks and around the nose, leaving the forehead spotless. While the shade of blue can vary, whether it's a deep slate or a soft pastel, both are highly coveted. The red markings should be bright and fiery, quite different from a GoSanke's appearance; in an Asagi, the red seems to be integrated into the fish rather than overlaid. This red typically extends along the lower side of the fish, following the lateral line, and the pectoral fins should have a red base.

Asagi Koi Pattern

A high-quality Asagi pattern is centered around a well-defined vignette, or scale articulation. This effect is created by a dark, triangular 'wedge' surrounded by a lighter framework. The stronger the contrast between these elements, the more striking the vignette appears. Younger Asagi may not have such a defined vignette, given that the contrast in blue may not be as robust, but it should develop as the fish grows.

Getting to Know Asagi & Shusui Koi Fish Varieties


Spotlight on the Shusui Koi

Shusui Koi Color

Shusui koi share similar coloration characteristics with the Asagi, but they have a distinct, deep slate-colored, zip linear scalation along their dorsal line. In the case of Hana Shusui (Shusui with red flanks and minimal blue), the red should be vibrant and fiery.

Shusui Koi Pattern

Unlike the Asagi, there aren't strict guidelines for Shusui patterns. The zip pattern along the dorsal line should be orderly and uniform, though. This variety is often found with large, extending red cheeks which are quite charming. The unique nature of Shusui allows you to choose a fish that genuinely captivates you!


Getting to Know Asagi & Shusui Koi Fish Varieties


To explore Asagi and Shusui available for purchase today, click on the respective links: Asagi Koi Fish & Shusui Koi Fish