Hikarimuji (hee-KAH-ree-MOO-gee) is a classification that incorporates metallic, single-colored koi, which can come with or without scale reticulation. The classification (also denoted as Hikari Mujimono) designation comes from “Hikari” meaning “shining” or “metallic” and “Muji” which is quite simply “plain” or “solid.”
The brightness and shine of Hikarimuji are immediately eye-catching in ponds, and as a result are a popular variety of koi.
The Hikarimuji class includes Orenji Ogon, Platinum Ogon, Yamabuki, Nezu Ogon, Matsuba and Aka Matsuba. The Matsuba is split into “gin” (silver) and “kin” (golden). The “pine cone” reticulation pattern on the Matsuba—even though a different color (sumi or black)—is not considered part of the pattern in this classification.
What to Look For
As the distinguishing characteristic of this variety is the metallic skin, it is the quality of sheen and how well it reflects light (which is referred to as “luster”) that is what is ultimately most desirable in a Hikarimuji koi. The luster should be consistent and bright across the entire koi (from nose to tail as well as the other fins).
High-quality luster has been likened to satin, which has a deep, bright and vibrant sheen regardless of its actual color. Additionally, the actual color itself should be uniform, dense and unblemished.
Body conformation is also important (as in all koi).