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Koi Varieties – Orenji Ogon

Today’s blog post is the next in our series all about Ogon koi. We have already had a look at the Platinum Ogon variety which is a pure white, single-coloured, metallic koi and today we will be looking at the orange version, the Orenji Ogon.

Ogon koi, as mentioned in our ‘Koi Varieties – Platinum Ogon’ blog post, Ogon koi was originally used to refer to the group of all metallic koi. However, as more and more koi varieties were developed, this system became confusing and so Ogon was redefined to mean single-coloured, metallic koi.

Orenji Ogon koi from breeder Maruhiro

As mentioned in our Platinum Ogon blog post, the Ogon varieties were originally bred by Sawata Aoki (who would later found Aokiya, one of Japan’s most well-known koi farms), a process that started in the late 1940s. In fact, the Orenji Ogon is one of the newest varieties of Ogon, with most other Ogon varieties already quite popular before the demand for an orange version grew high enough to warrant the breeding process.

The Ogon varieties began with a yellow metallic koi in the early 1950s. This koi would later be known as a Yamabuki Ogon but at this time, the variety was unreliable and often produced very undesirable results when used to breed other koi. However, it was the only single-coloured metallic koi available at the time and occasionally produced good results so breeders persisted with the variety. In fact, it was during one attempt to improve the yellow metallic variety that the Orenji Ogon koi had its origins. One of the issues with the early Yamabuki Ogons was that the yellow colour was fading and becoming less and less vibrant. Therefore, a Yamabuki Ogon was paired with a Higoi which was a red single-coloured koi that was later developed into the Benigoi koi.

This pairing resulted in a lovely orange and metallic koi, exactly what the koi world wanted! Unfortunately, the pairing did little to improve the early Yamabuki Ogon koi as they were now too red to be considered yellow koi but they were quickly improved using a different pairing (for more information, see our Yamabuki Ogon blog post, coming soon!). However, many koi keepers and hobbyists were very excited about these new Orenji Ogon koi and they quickly rose in popularity to become one of the most desirable Ogon varieties today!

Pongoi (Best Quality) Platinum Ogon Koi

Butterfly Orenji Ogon koi from breeder Suda

Many people consider Ogon koi to be one of the easiest koi varieties to judge and breed as they are relatively simple with only one colour and no complex patterns, reticulation or scale effect. This may be true but it also means that the standards are much higher and little less than perfection is acceptable for the best quality koi. While a small colour bleed or a misaligned scale may be ignored on other varieties, on the clean, unblemished canvas of the Orenji Ogon, such an imperfection is much more obvious and difficult to ignore. Therefore, most Ogon varieties are judged much more strictly than many other varieties. However, with the orange colouration of the Orenji Ogon, this variety is one of the darkest of the Ogon varieties. Consequently, blemishes are a little easier to get away with than, say, the Platinum Ogon where a small mark will stand out a lot.

When considering the quality of any Ogon koi, we need to consider two things. Firstly, the consistency and quality of the colour and secondly, the consistency and quality of the metallic sheen. When it comes to judging the base colour of an Orenji Ogon, we first consider the consistency of the colour. The body should have the same shade along the whole of the koi including the head, fins and tail. As mentioned above, it is often easy to see when there are inconsistencies and blemishes in the colour, and these should be minimised for the best quality Orenji Ogon. The most important consideration for this variation is that it must have a clean body and ideally also have a clean head, fins, and tail, but the body is most important. Now, with regards to the colour itself, the ideal shade is a bright orange similar to an orange fruit or a tangerine. It is important to note that there should be a clear distinction between the bright orange of an Orenji Ogon and the red-orange of a Benigoi koi.

Orenji Ogon koi from breeder Yamazaki

The next thing to consider, as we said above, is the metallic sheen on the body of the koi. As with the orange base colour, the most important thing about the sheen is that the amount must be consistent over the whole body of the koi and the lustre should have the same quality all over. A koi with poor but consistent lustre is considered better than a koi with both good and bad areas of lustre. The sheen should be visible over all areas of the body with no areas clearly lacking the reflective sheen. For a beautiful metallic koi, the skin should be shiny like a mirror and, on the orange base colour of the Orenji Ogon, be comparable to the lovely orange of the sun about to set.

The Orenji Ogon koi is an incredible fish, so bright and colourful it is sure to always stand out and be noticeable in any pond! This is truly an eye-catching variety.

To browse our current stock of Orenji Ogon koi, have a look on our website:

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