Ki Utsuri, a member of the Utsurimono family, are koi with a black (sumi) body and areas of yellow (ki) pattern overlaying the black.
The gene responsible for Ki Utsuri is a recessive gene. This means that Ki Utsuri are a random "throw" from a Shiro Utsuri or Hi Utsuri spawn, and can never be produced in large quantities. For this reason, very few Ki Utsuri are seen in the koi industry, and even fewer are of a high quality. This fact makes Ki Utsuri the most rare and sought-after member of the Utsurimono family, and indeed one of the more rare koi varieties in general.
The black (sumi) of a Ki Utsuri should be a deep, dark, jet-black color. Preferably, the yellow (ki) should be a bright and vibrant yellow, although the perfect yellow color is incredibly hard to come by in Ki Utsuri.
The sumi should start at the mouth or nose, and should be spaced intermittently along the body to the base of the tail. The spacing of the ki and sumi should be even and balanced both along the length of the body, and on both sides of the dorsal fin. The sumi of Ki Utsuri will always flow below the lateral line and wrap completely around the body.
The highest quality Ki Utsuri have a head that is both black and yellow with a clear, crisp edge between the black and yellow. This trait is known as "menware". While menware is highly sought after in the Ki Utsuri variety, the lack of menware does not necessarily ruin a Ki Utsuri.
Beware of small black specks in the ki (known as "shimi".) Shimi will detract from the overall beauty of a koi and will only become more apparent as the koi ages.
For more Ki Utsuri images, check out the Ki Utsuri Image Gallery and Butterfly Ki Utsuri Image Gallery.