Keeping Koi: Its History, Symbolism and Art

//Keeping Koi: Its History, Symbolism and Art

Keeping Koi: Its History, Symbolism and Art

Koi pictures are as popular as the fish themselves. Keeping Koi is a a very popular hobby with thousands of people around the world. Koi pictures inspire many to build ponds and keep their own Koi. They have inspired artists. They fascinate all of us. Any Koi pond is a magnet for a group of spectators.

Koi In China and Buddhism
The origins of Koi begin in China. Fish in China are a symbol of wealth, abundance, harmony, marital happiness and reproduction. In Buddhism the fish on the footprints of the Buddha are a sign of freedom from all restraint. The most popular image or symbol of fish in China is the Koi or Carp. It stands for strength and perseverance. They believed that the Koi would swim upstream of the mighty Yellow river, climb the waterfall and enter the Dragon Gate whereupon they would become dragons. Koi symbols and images have become prominent symbols of Fung Shui with a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream.

Koi in Japanese Art
All true fisherman like to tell their story, even better to have a picture. Japanese fishermen were no different. Two-hundred years ago they began to record their catches of Koi with what are now regarded as the early forms of Koi fish art. In time the art form was copied by the common villagers and the art form began to flourish. The art form now called Gyotaku is extremely difficult to master but that has not prevented it from moving beyond the boundaries of Japan.

Symbols of Koi soon became part of Japanese culture. Koi ponds are found in their gardens and temples. The Chinese myth of the Koi swimming up to the Dragon Gate became part of Japanese symbolism. Koi became symbols of strength, power and advancement as in China. Japanese art found many ways of displaying the symbolism embodied in the Koi. The Koi symbol is often found on large flags flown on Boy’s Day to celebrate the energy and power that every boy should have. The beautiful symbols of the Koi have come to represent all that is good, powerful and strong.

Koi Ponds in Japanese Gardens
Japanese Gardens make use of many styles and symbolism and today the Koi garden is extremely popular. Koi have become embedded in the culture of Japan and it hard to realise that the origin of the fish is thought to have been in China. There is little doubt that Koi take their place as the central attraction of any Japanese garden and become the very essence of this form of Japanese art. Japanese gardens are found all over the world and their Koi ponds are an artistic and photographic target for most visitors.

Koi in Western Art
The images and symbolism of Koi have spread far beyond the shores of Japan. This colorful and popular fish has found its way into all forms of Western Art. The Japanese form of Gyotaku has also found its way into Western Art and is used for many forms of teaching. Many renowned artists the world over find inspiration from these colourful fish.

Pictures for Tattoos
Koi tattoos are all the rage throughout our world today. While many outside of Japan do not always understand the symbolism of the Koi and the Dragon these Tattoo designs are in high demand in wherever Tattoos are done. In terms of Western Art perhaps there is no greater expression of the Koi than among Tattoo Artists. These artists often take other Japanese symbols, cherry blossom, lotus flowers and even splashing water weaving these symbols among the designs of Koi and the Dragons.

Visit any online photographic library and more often than not they have pictures of Koi and Koi ponds to download. While it would seem that no two Koi have exactly the same markings Koi have been grouped into a large number of types and the Japanese have names for all these groups. The online libraries will have an excellent range of picture of all these various types.

Photo by scjody

Originally posted 2017-06-09 09:31:15.

By | 2018-03-02T01:02:52+00:00 March 2nd, 2018|Articles|0 Comments

About the Author: