The Legend of Inazuma Showa – Dainichi Showa

A Koi that had become a legend is a Showa (in the picture above) not just any koi. This koi was once very popular as ‘THE DAINICHI SHOWA’. This koi is very unique and rare and until now, it is still difficult to find comparison.

The pattern on his back is like lightning or Inazuma’s term. This koi belongs to the Showa Sanshoku variety. So people call him Inazuma Showa.

Resembling Natural Phenomena

His back is like a natural phenomenon painted, namely when it rains, where there is lightning that splits the black clouds. The meandering hi pattern (zig zag) resembles a lightning bolt that is striking, between black clouds (sumi pattern) that hangs, accompanied by raindrops (black spot). Really represents the natural conditions when it rains heavily accompanied by lightning that strikes.

dainichi showa inazuma

Masao kato

The owner is Masao Kato, and this koi won in 1991 at the international koi contest held in Japan, ZNA All Japan as the Grand Champion.

Kato’s Showa, as people know it, is not like the usual Grand Champion koi whose body length is over 80 cm. But this koi, although measuring 78 cm and 7 years old, was able to fascinate the judges and was able to emerge as Grand Champion.


Minoru Mano

Previously, in the same year this koi also won the Grand Champion title at the Shinkokai All Japan Koi Show event.

This koi managed to beat 4,675 koi contest participants at the ZNA All Japan Koi Show and was the best among 3,571 koi contestants at the Shinkokai All Japan Koi Show. Maybe this is the only koi that managed to become Grand Champion at 2 All Japan Koi Show events in the same year.

Kato’s Showa is the result of koi cultivation carried out by Minoru Mano, from Dainichi Koi Farm. A large Koi breeding industry in Japan that is very well known and places many of its livestock products as champions in koi contests held in various parts of the world.


Masao Kato
1922 – 2014
Tuesday 27 May 2014

With great sadness, the koi-loving community heard about the passing of one of the world’s most respected Nishikigoi ambassadors on May 27, 2014. Kato-san is internationally renowned for being a generous host. His ‘Ikeage’ (Mud pond harvest) is always attended by invitees from abroad and he has attended many foreign Koi Shows, either as judge or guest of honor.

Although he does not speak English, he has been one of ZNA’s main foreign policy advisers for many years and is well known to koi keepers from Asia, Europe, South Africa, and the Americas.

Vincent Chiu, Chairman of ZNA Taiwan District more succinctly said, “He is a true Koikichi, everyone loves him”.

Kato’s profile shows the extraordinary achievements and experiences throughout his life that he brought to his hobby.

Born in Tochigi on March 3, 1922, and founded Kato Industry Ltd in 1954. He started koi maintenance in 1955, became President of the Tochigi Chapter in 1981 and qualified as a ZNA Certified Judge in 1985.

Elected to the ZNA Board of Directors in 1989 he was finally elected as the Deputy Chairman of ZNA in 2000.

The success won the Shinkokai Grand Champion twice (1988 and 1991) and three ZNA All Japan Show Grand Champions in 1988, 1991 and 2002.

Never forget the 1991 ZNA GC, on an Inazuma Showa. The fish inspired the Germans and Dutch to include it in their community badges. The German KLAN have used it on all their badges, both the Inter-Koi and the Tetra Cup, while the Netherlands selected it for the 2002 show badge.

RIP Masao Kato and thanks for everything you do for the Koi hobby around the world!

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