Ever Wonder What Koi Fish Symbolize

Ever Wonder What Koi Fish Symbolize

Great Information for the Hobbyist

What Do KOI Fish Symbolise

What Do Koi Fish Symbolize.

The Koi Fish Legend

The Koi Fish Legend – There are many ancient legends involving the koi fish. The oldest of the legends is the story of when Chinese philosopher Confucius was born a son in 533 B.C., King Shoko of Ro presented to him a magoy, a black carp, as a gift. According to this legend, all modern day koi, and their bright colors, are from the magoy given to Confucius by the king.

The legend says the Chinese then raised the koi in their rice patty fields to be used for food, especially during the long winter months, and not for pets. The Chinese then passed on their knowledge of raising koi to the Japanese. Raising koi in ponds began in Niigata, Japan during one particularly harsh winter.

Niigata Koi
During this very harsh winter, Japanese farmers in Niigata could not fish and could not sustain any crops. As a result, the farmers began building ponds in which to raise koi in order to feed their families. During this time, many farmers began noticing different color mutations on the skin of the newly bred koi. So they carefully chose the most beautifully colored fish and bred them in separate ponds to keep as family pets.Koi continue to be bred as pets and enjoyed for their wonderful coloring. Today, there are over 100 different color types of koi fish.

What Do Koi Fish Symbolize?
Learning it’s history helps to answer the question, “What do koi fish symbolize?”. By knowing koi’s long history, you can more easily understand why people revere this beautiful fish so deeply.

General Symbolism
lucky koi
Many of the attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons and even trials individuals often encounter in life. The koi fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream. Some of the characteristics associated with the koi include:

Good fortune

Many of the above described symbolic meanings of koi fish stem from the Chinese legend of the Dragon Gate in which a koi fish swam upstream, through waterfalls and other obstacles to reach the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain was the “Dragon Gate”. The legend says that when the koi finally reached the top, it became a dragon, one of the most auspicious creatures in Chinese culture.

Coloring Symbolism
The fish’s coloring also has something to do with its symbolism. Certain colors represent certain aspects or outcomes in life.

Kohaku – This koi has a white body with red spots and symbolizes success in your career.
Kumonryu – There are two main variations of this koi. One variation is a koi with a white body and black spots and the other is an all black body. This Kumonryu koi symbolizes life changes and transformations.
Ogon – This solid, silver colored koi symbolically represents success in business and wealth.
Kuchibeni – This white and red patterned koi is often referred to as the “lipstick” fish, because the red coloring around its mouth makes it appear as though the fish is wearing lipstick. Kuchibeni koi represents love and long lasting relationships.
Yamabuki – The Yamabuki koi is gold in coloring and symbolizes riches and wealth.

Koi as a Traditional Chinese Food Source
No symbol in the Chinese culture has a singular meaning behind its status, especially when it comes to feng shui symbols. The koi has a varied background of how it was elevated to the symbol status of being auspicious. One of the things to remember is that in less modern times, the koi was a vital part of the Chinese diet. The farmers raised the fish in their rice fields in a perfect ecosystem. The fish provided fertilizer for the rice crops while the aquatic life found in the rice fields sustained the koi. This is a good example of the balance in life that the koi represents. When times became hard, often during the winter months, the rice farmers would survive by eating the highly nutritious koi. Some feng shui experts believe this history of the koi and its importance in sustaining the Chinese people first as a fertilizing source for the rice crop and then as a direct food source was the beginning of the koi becoming a symbol of prosperity.

Yin Yang and the Koi Symbol
In feng shui, the koi is tied to the yin yang symbol. In fact, the black and white tear drops of the yin yang symbol are said to be representations of two koi, one male and one female. The eye of each teardrop is symbolic of the constant watchful eye of the koi. This pairing of fish is often seen outside the context of the yin yang symbol as well. For example, a pair of koi is often used as a good luck symbol for a happy marriage.

Harmony and Happiness
The koi is synonymous with harmony and happiness. The two yin and yang koi complete each other and create a perfect balance of the negative and positive energies of chi energy, which is the life-force of all things on earth.

Koi in Feng Shui
koi statue
Koi can be represented in interior design with artwork such as paintings, photographs or sculpture. Its placement is said to attract auspicious abundance and prosperity into your home and life and some opt to have multiple representations of this fish.

Koi can be included in a home either in a pond or very large aquarium. If you are considering raising a koi on your own, be sure that you always usher auspicious energy your way by keeping the water fastidiously clean and well-filtered and by ensuring they have ample space to swim and grow.

By keeping your koi healthy, you can expect them to live anywhere between 50 and 75 years. It’s no surprise that these colorful fish symbolize longevity, since some say that some koi have lived for nearly 200 years.