Colors in Zen Koi are made up of combinations of Koi Base colour and pattern colour. the names of these seem to be inspired by Japanese colors, but combined to make new colour names.

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So for instance this Koi above has the base color of black (Kuro “くろ” in Japanese), and the pattern color of white (Shiro “しろ” in Japanese). These colour names are squished together to form “Kushiro”.

The Sutato part of the name refers to the pattern, which we’ll discuss on the patterns post.

You may wonder, what if this Koi had white base color with black pattern. In this case the color names are reversed “Shikuro”

There are 16 common color combinations:

White = Shiro (しろ)

White/White = Shishiro
White/Yellow = Shiniro
White/Red = Shidai
White/Black = Shikuro

Yellow = Kiiro (きいろ)

Yellow/White = Kishiro
Yellow/Yellow = Kiniro
Yellow/Red = Kidai
Yellow/Black = Kikuro

Red = Aka (あか)

Red/White = Akashiro
Red/Yellow = Akaniro
Red/Red = Akadai
Red/Black = Akakuro

Black = Kuro (くろ)

Black/White = Kushiro
Black/Yellow = Kuniro
Black/Red = Kudai
Black/Black = Kukuro

When you breed with another fish, the resulting offspring may have any combination of the parents’ base and pattern colors.
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So for this image above, you can see the potential offspring colors that are a combination of the base and pattern colors from the two parents.

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