The word tancho comes from the Japanese crane, a white bird with a round red crest. Tancho Koi is a very attractive type of the ‘big three’ varieties which are Kohaku, Sanke and Showa. Tancho Showa is the most difficult to achieve to a level of excellence, so it is the most highly regarded of the three types.
This Koi has a distinctive and usually round red marking only on the head. No patterns whatsoever should appear on the body. Very occasionally, black tancho markings occur like on other varieties of Koi, but these are not included within the tancho range. This type of koi come from Kohaku, Sanke and Showa.Tancho Kohaku only have clean white bodies from nose to tail without any stains or spots which makes the scale lines very important.
The red spot on the head must have an even colour throughout, it should also be as round as possible with sharp edges, and it should also cover the forehead as much as possible without touching the eyes, nose or shoulder of the koi.
The white skin on the body can stress badly and appear pink, if any small spots appear on the body or the red colour runs over the eyes, nose or shoulder it cannot be called a tancho.
Return from tancho koi to types of koi