It was not until the Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD), when the first mention of mutated "silver" to "gold" carp appeared. These fish were separated from the prussian carp and bred selectively. Chinese ornamental goldfish was born and its many verities started to emerge. One particular variety was crucial in developing a modern Japanese ranchu - the so called egg-fish with no dorsal fin and egg-shaped body.
From China the goldfish was brought to Japan by the Dutch merchants during the Edo Period (1603-1868) and was first mentioned as maruko in Yoshiyuki Adachi's book about goldfish published in 1748. Maruko fish had no head-growth.
It took over a hundred years to shape this goldfish to what we see today. In a second half of the 19th century, Tokyo resident Kameyoshi Ishikawa formed a group of goldfish enthusiasts, who gave birth to a modern ranchu and set the first standards. Mr.Ishikawa began to organize ranchu shows and aided in a great popularity of this type of goldfish in Japan.
|Women Selecting Goldfish, Japanese Woodblock Print|
And now here they are, the latest champion ranchus from the All Japan Ranchu Show, 2013. Three categories are shown:
OYA (Parent Fish) - fish reached the third calendar year or older
NISAI (Second-year Fish) - fish reached the second calendar year
TOSAI (Yearling) - fish hatched in the current calendar year
Traditionally these goldfish were viewed from above, swimming in a pond or a ceramic bowl. And so the Japanese ranchu were created to be viewed from above. They are often referred to as TVR - abbreviation for top view ranchu.