Azukari Project explanation

19 March 2018 by Maxim in Uncategorized 0 comments
Azukari Project explanation

Azukari Project explanation.

What does the term Azukari mean ?
In Japanese culture, Azukari means “I take care of ..” The breeder takes care, read care, for the koi that swim in the mudpond of his nursery.

What does Azukari mean ?
There are a number of Japanese breeders who offer the possibility to keep purchased koi in Azukari during one or more growing seasons. The grower, in this case Shigeyoshi Tanaka, who is connected to the Azukari Project, therefore takes care of the koi for a longer period. In May, all koi from the Azukari Project will be released in the mudpond. He takes care of, checks and follows the development of the koi during the stay in the mudpond. In October, all koi are removed from the mudpond during the ikeage and moved to one of the koi houses. The koi will overwinter in the koi house.

How does Azukari work in practice ?
In early May Shigeyoshi Tanaka flies to the Uk especially for the UK Azukari Project. Prior to this visit, some 160 Tosai (and also several sansai) were selected and photographed for this project. Each Koi is accompanied by a certificate that states the size, birth year and variety. During the Azukari meeting (Azukari Project explanation), Sigheyoshi Tanaka extensively discusses the expected development of each koi. For example, what are the expectations regarding pattern, size, skin quality, etc. This is clarified on the basis of film material. A short film of each koi has been made, so that one gets a better picture of the fish.

During the meeting, the koi enthusiasts present can select one or more koi they want to use for the Azukari Project. The purchase price of such a koi includes 1 year Azukari. The selected koi remain in Japan and can grow to JUMBO size in the mud pound of the Maruyu Koifarm.(or at the Kawasaki Koi Farm/Oyama Koi Farm)

After Shigeyoshi is back in Japan, all the koi of the Azukari Project are released in May in one of the mudponds. A video film is also made of this so-called “release”. This way, all participants can watch their own koi at the moment they swim in the mudpond for the first time.

From that moment the koi are fed 6-8 times a day with the aid of an automatic feeder. Given the warm summers in the Niigata area, where the temperature is 25 degrees on average, the koi can use some food. Only in the mudpond are the koi fed and they have to build up a stock in this period to get through the winter.
The daily monitoring of the mudpond, which the breeder carries out, takes on average half an hour to an hour. The grower then checks whether the koi are healthy, whether they all eagerly receive the food, and how the water quality is. During his daily round, he also checks whether there are no hijackers, such as bears, on the coast. Or that the mudpond and any wires that are stretched above it, are damaged.

Together with the breeder the development of the koi from the Azukari Project is followed closely. A moment that is eagerly awaited the year, is the Ikeage. The grower and his staff have already made the preparations for this moment. On top of the pick-up is a basin that is filled with water. After a large net has been placed around the mudpond, it is slowly brought to 1 point. As soon as the private swimming area is small enough, koi are carefully caught and transferred to the basin on the pick-up. When all koi have been harvested, the koi are taken to the nursery and measured one by one, photographed and recorded on video. This is always an exciting moment for the grower and certainly also for the owners. It happens regularly that an owner is there himself while his koi is harvested, viewed and measured. This is therefore a unique event!

But also the cow lovers who have not traveled to Japan and are in the Uk are not disappointed. On the personal page on the website they can follow the results of their koi. There are all measurement results, photos and videos of the koi from the Azukari Project. Also the measurement data and latest videos of the harvest are placed on it.
On the basis of the results, the owner determines, together with the grower, whether the koi comes to the Netherlands, or whether the Azukari project is being extended. The choice; to Uk or extension of the Azukari, must be determined in January 2019. In mid February / March we expect the koi that have to come back again in the UK.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Azukari ?
When choosing to keep koi in Azukari, it is important to weigh the pros and cons against each other beforehand.
The patience of the participants is put to the test. Only after half a year, or sometimes longer, the owner can actually see his or her koi for the first time.
The breeders select HQ koi, whose expectations are high. But a koi remains a koi and the future pattern can never be 100% determined.

+The koi swimming in the mudpond can grow and develop in their familiar surroundings. The growth and development that the koi go through in the mudpond, they probably do not achieve in the pond in the UK.
A koi in Azuakri can grow to JUMBO. This is because a grower selects very high quality tosai and nisai.
The possibility to get in close contact with the breeder and other hobbyists.

What are the results of Azukari ?
In 2018 the Azukari Project takes place for the 5th time, in the Netherlands. In the previous years the average growth, especially from tosai to nisai, has been very good. In a number of cases a growth of almost 100% has been achieved!

In 2014, the Sanke of the Azukari Project from owner Patrick Kruisland Size Champion became the Nagaoka KoiShow. In 2015, the Kohaku of the Azukari Project by owner Remco Wenninckmeule became 2nd size 4 on the all Nagaoka Koi show. In addition, a number of koi from the Azukari project won 1st and 2nd prizes at the various koi shows in Japan. In the Netherlands koi from the Azukari Project won prizes in the following categories: Best Goromo and Best Tategoi.

Participating breeders:
Meanwhile, several growers have joined the Azukari Project, making the choice in the different varieties for the cow lovers has become bigger. Grower Kawakami and grower Oyama have also selected high quality koi for Azuki project 4. This means that Goshiki, Hi Utsuri, Shiro utsuri, Asagi and Kujaku can now also be used for the Azukari project. In 2018 the number of varieties will be expanded.
All in all a fun, educational and price-wise, interesting opportunity to follow the development of the koi together with the grower.

Price indication
The prices of the koi that are selected for the Azukari Project vary. The koi are divided over a number of price ranges, but go from … This includes the first year Azukari costs.

The costs of transport are not included here. This is because the transport costs depend on the size of the koi. Does a koi stay 1,2 or 3 years (or longer) in Japan? If a koi stays in Japan for 1 year, they are transported in a box per 3. The smaller the koi, the smaller the transport box fits. In short, this can not be determined in advance.

Every participant in the Azukari Project has a protected personal page. Here are all the photos, videos and achieved results of the koi. In this way it is very nice to follow the koi of the Azukari Project in Japan!

Koi TV:
All movies of koi from the Azukari project can also be seen on youtube koi tv and youtube azukari tv.

UK Azukari Project:
Do you want to participate in UK Azukari Project in 2018? Please send an email to:

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