is the term applied to a
doitsu koi with a 'killer whale'
pattern, i.e., a black body with white markings.
The term 'kumonryu' translates to 'nine-crested dragon." Kumonryu koi are unique in the sense that
their sumi (black color) is unstable, allowing them to change
their black-and-white patterns even after they have matured.
Cases such as when a totally black kumonryu has transformed
into a totally white one have even been reported.
As such, they are also described as koi that are 'forever tategoi.' The kumonryu is a relatively new koi variety,
acquiring a category of its own in the All Japan show only in
The black and white colors of a kumonryu must be deep
and solid. 'Jet-black' and 'snow-white' are common
descriptions of how the black and white colors of a kumonryu
must appear, respectively.
The kumonryu is a doitsu koi, so it may or may not have mirror
scales along its dorsal and lateral lines. If it does, the
mirror scales must be continuous and nicely aligned. If it
doesn't have mirror scales, then it must have no scales at all.
Because of the non-permanence of the sumi of a kumonryu, its
pattern must not be a basis for its purchase. The depth
and quality of the sumi and the body conformation of the koi
must be given much more importance. Many koi hobbyists
have bought kumonryu koi based on the black-and-white patterns
they saw at the time of buying, only to be disappointed
several weeks later to see their koi transform into a less striking
Please see separate article on
The Ideal Koi Body.