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Ki Utsuri, a member of the Utsurimono family, are koi with a black body and areas of yellow 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 of a Ki Utsuri should be a deep, dark, jet-black color. Preferably, the yellow should be a bright and vibrant yellow, although the perfect yellow color is incredibly hard to come by in Ki Utsuri.
The black 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 yellow and black should be even and balanced both along the length of the body, and on both sides of the dorsal fin. The black 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.