How it started
The history of Koi Carp or Nishikigoi started more than 2000 years ago in Japan with a genetic mutation of the common carp, originally from China. It is the symbol of prosperity, longevity and fertility.
Just as with the golden fish in China, the possession of a Koi Carp in Japan was for many years a privilege of the Noble Class.
It was in the Era of Momoyama (between 1582 and 1598) that the breeding of Koi Carp becames widespread.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the breeding of these fish was very much developed. Since then, many fascinating and beautiful varieties have appeared.
The Myth / The Meaning
The symbol of Carps comes from the era of the Samurais and Muromachi, who admired them and considered them the perfect representation of the ideal of persistence, courage and strength, due to the fact that they were able to withstand all of nature’s adversities, such as going up currents and waterfalls, in order to achieve their objectives.
According to the myth, the Carp had to attain the fountain of the river which divides China, the Huang Ho(Yellow River), in mating season. In order to do that, they had to swim against the current and jump over waterfalls up to the mountain Jishinhan. The one to reach the peak would be transformed into a dragon.
In that way, a carp ascending symbolizes strength, courage and determination to achieve objectives and withstand difficulties, while a descending carp symbolizes the achievement of goals and accomplishments.