Matsukawabakke are scaled koi with a white or grey base and areas of black (sumi) pattern over top of the base color. Matsukawabakke are said to be the scaled predecessor to the Kumonryu. It is commonly believed that Kumonryu were developed by crossing Matsukawabakke and Shusui.
Like Kumonryu, Matsukawabakke will completely change their pattern many times throughout their lifespan. It is possible for any single Matsukawabakke to be solid white, solid black, or any conceivable pattern in between at any certain point in it's life. No one is precisely sure what causes the change in pattern. However, water temperature and pH seem to play a significant role.
Since Matsukawabakke will change their patterns many time throughout their life, very little importance should be placed on the pattern displayed at the time of purchase. First and foremost, body conformation should be taken into consideration.
The head should be symmetrically shaped and proportionate in size to the rest of the body. The nose should also be symmetrical, and should not be too short and blunt, nor too long and pointy. The body should likewise be symmetrically shaped, and should display a torpedo-like shape, meaning that it is thick behind the head, and tapers down evenly toward the tail fin. Watch out for deformities in the tail or pectoral fins, a fault common in this variety.
Instead of paying attention to the pattern, focus on the quality of the colors. Look for a Matsukawabakke with good, deep, dark black sumi. While the pattern will change many times throughout the years, the colors that comprise the patterns will remain the same.
For more Matsukawabakke images, check out the Matsukawabakke Image Gallery and Butterfly Matsukawabakke Image Gallery.