Botan means peony and is a native plant in Japan. Traditionally it is also used in medicin. This is the final blog to complete the series of Major Award winners of the 44th All Japan Combined Nishikigoi Show. The Botan prize is one of the three special awards given, next to the Tsubaki and Sakura Awards and includes only the varieties Hikari Muji, Asagi, Shusui, Bekko, Hikari Utsuri and Hi/Ki Utsuri.
Surprisingly enough, none Hikari Muji (single colored metallic Koi) were awarded a Botan Award. Also only one Asagi was winner of a Botan. Shusui, Hi/Ki Utsuri and Kin Showa were this year the dominant varieties, winning respectively six, four and four awards. The Best Botan was a 80 Bu Shusui, which is quite a stunning fish. Nice body shape, clean patterns, which make this Shusui the deserved winner of the Best Botan Award. Honestly I prefer the skin quality of the 75 Bu Shusui, but this one is also a bit younger and it is easier to have a nice and shiny skin with young Koi. The 65 Bu Doitsu Kin Showa, bred by Marusaka is really quite a stunning Koi. Although not really ‘black’, it is mainly the red patterns that make this Doitsu Kin Showa so striking. Honestly, my favorite of this year’s Botan awards is the 90 Bu Hi Utsuri, bred by Shinoda Koi Farm. I have not seen a Hi Utsuri with such a good Beni quality and lustre so far. Really, really impressive! Hopefully the Sumi will come up in the following years, and than she will even become more beautiful!