The Bekko is a non-metallic two colored koi. It will have a solid base color of white, red, or yellow. The second color is black. It will have Sumi (black) markings on the body. Bekko is a very simple appearing koi and one of the oldest varieties. This variety had fallen out of favor, but is steadily making a comeback. Many koi collectors search for a good example of every variety to have in their koi collections.
The Shiro Bekko has a white base. Aka Bekko has a red-orange base, and the very rare Ki Bekko has a yellow base. Each type should have a pleasing pattern of Sumi markings on the body.
It’s all about the Sumi
Along with having a great shape and bright blemish-free skin, the Bekko should have a series of dark, distinctive, sparsely distributed Sumi markings on its body. The dense black markings should make a simple pattern. They need not be symmetrical, but should be balanced from front to back. Bold, solid spots of Sumi are preferred over tiny dots that look like paint splatters or freckles. Just like Sanke, a large patch of Sumi on the shoulder region is a desired feature. Additionally, the Sumi should appear only on the koi’s back above the lateral line, and preferably ending well before the tail joint. Too much Sumi on the caudal peduncle will make the koi appear very off balanced.
The head of Bekko should be the same color as the body and free of Sumi. Ideally, a Bekko should have a clean head with no imperfection or smudging of black. Many times the Bekko will have blue eyes which give them a whimsical and friendly appearance.
The white pectoral fins of Aka Bekko and Ki Bekko can occasionally carry sumi stripes. Although, the Shiro Bekko should have no Sumi on its pectoral fins.
Be sure to check out our illustrations of koi varieties on our website. Follow this link to view them all.