Scrolls with Carp and Koi

The carp is symbol of success. In ancient China and Japan, they were thought to be the spirits of Dragons that had descended to earth and then when striving towards heaven they would become Dragons again. The myth changes and can be told in a different way depending on where you are.
Tory-mon means The Rising dragon's gate- which also means The gateway to success. The Carp will rise to the sky after transforming into dragons.

Koi is the Japanese word for carp. However these days Koi is understood to be fancy carp with different colours each having a specific name. Koi Carp are one of the most popular hobby fish in the world. Some Koi Carp are worth a great deal of money and some become almost personal friends of the owner. There are many varieties of Koi and what I have done here is arrange to have some wonderful artists create some traditional paintings  of Koi and Carp. it is very difficult to get old pictures of Koi as this is a relatively modern  hobby with may of the colours being developed over the past few years. However, Koi have been kept for centuries and sometimes we are fortunate on locating one of these very old Koi Scrolls.

In Japan, "koi (carp)" is a symbol of strength, courage and patience.Displaying a scroll with Carp or of Koi  also shows gentleness

This subject has often been used to show respect and good wishes  for the harmony of a couple and family.

Carp as a fish in both China and Japan are believed to be fish capable of climbing upstream against rapid currents and overcoming all manner of obstacles, and they are thus taken as a symbol of the strength, courage and patience to accomplish major goals. And the figure which swims calmly without fighting and the territory makes a model of home harmony. From this, the custom in Japan for boys to pray that they will take after Carp and live their lives strongly and of hanging out "koi-nobori (carp streamers)", shaped like koi, on May 5, is held on Children's Day in Japan.
Sometimes with a Haiku poem, this type painting, called  in the Haiga Style, the poem would read:' Hachiman no Kam mo mini Kuru Hatsu-Nobori. 'The Lord Hachiman will come to watch your first flag'

Noboro is a flag which is decorated for the boys at the Tangu no Sekku.
Boy's Day Banners are made individually for each family.They often have the family crest at the top of the banner.The reason that the Carp has become the symbol of the Boys' Festival is because the Japanese consider it the most spirited of fish, so full of energy and power that it can fight its way up swift-running streams and cascades. Because of its strength and determination to overcome all obstacles, it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals. The carp is an appropriate symbol to encourage manliness and the overcoming of life's difficulties leading to consequent success

We have other Boys Day scrolls in the Samurai Section such as this Kobuto Scroll

The magnificent antique hand painted works of art show the Japanese style of painting at its very best. Some of these scrolls are very old and I have spent many years researching and locating the very best in genuine Antique Scrolls. In a few cases I have had scroll mounts restored  on the scrolls where these have deteriorated, However the restoration has been done by professional Scroll restorers and the original paintings have not been altered in any way.







Nishiki Goi (Nishiki Koi) A beautiful painting on silk of a pair of Koi under a pine branch. A subtle reference to both a good marriage and a long life. Koi can live in excess of 200 years and the image of a pine over this couple also refers to the long and happy life of a pine tree. With box this scroll is 195   23.7x76.8 inches.



1: Signature is : Houkou  The seal is his studio name Shikoken.

Yoshimura Houkou (20th century) From Osaka Prefecture.

Was first taught by Yoshimura Horyu and did extensive research in the Mori sect of painting. Was well known to do animal paintings was active around the Taisho and early Showa Period.

Gallery value: $520  however, I am selling this recently restored Scroll for 255 $370

TORYU-MON Leaping Carp 76.6 x21.3 The jumping Carp is an analogy  called the Rising dragon's gate the gateway to success This has been recently remounted with new top and bottom silks and new box to match 255


















KOI (Carp). The carp is symbol of success. In ancient China and Japan
it was thought that the Koi will become dragons after going through
TORYU-MON (Rising dragon's gate/the gateway to success), then they
will rise to the sky after transforming to dragons.



This composition is called O-IRI GOI. The line of these carps shapes
2 KANJI characters "DAI" and "HAIRU"
It's called O-IRI. This word means "Many customers coming".
This scroll is designed to bring good fortune to your business!!

O-IRI-GOI a very nice scroll It originally came with an card artist box but when we translated the box it was not by the same artist so we upgraded the box to a hand made vintage kimono silk covered box, 185






3: Jumping Carp. 1950. With Box 170




5: Shunho Jumping Carp 24 x 78 2 With Box 185


6: Swimming Carp/ A superb example of Japanese art at its very best. Recently restored mounts and with box 225

7:Agari Koi-Leaping Carp Dramatic, large Japanese scroll featuring leaping Koi fish at base of rushing stream, early 20th century. Skilfully hand painted, animated rendering, delicately painted with wonderful sense of movement.  Carp traditionally symbolize strength, courage and patience.  Artist signed/stamped KYUSHO.1900 175


This was restored in late summer 2010

8: Abstract mountains and flower shikishi 35.9x10.6 Zelkova Wood Ends Jikisu


Beautiful Shikishi Scroll that goes with the Yellow Koi


A wonderful Shikishi Scroll Painting -on card. This comes with a Shikishi Scroll




9: Mimyo painted this beautiful scroll of Two Koi 53x28 with the original artist's box 195

A special scroll I created called the Golden Shoal. A study of golden Koi Carp in a large shoal coming out of a deep cave into the sunlight.  Painted in 2009. I made a similar one for Masahiko Kimura the famous Bonsai Master in Japan with Golden Grass Carp which he breeds in his pool at home. These are not Koi in the general sense as they are Grass Carp which is a different type of carp to Koi.

Sensei Kimura was featured in my last book, Bonsai Masterclass.


10: With its own hand made box. 175.












Modern Scrolls of Koi and Carp Special offer

 I also present my own modern versions of Koi and Carp scrolls for Koi Collectors and these are shown below. I  made some that include Showa-kindai, Bekko-ki, Sanke-tancho, Kohaku-tancho, Kohaku-menkaburi etc . I still have a few of the original group These come with a silk covered box and were 185 per scroll  but are now 99 to clear. The colour codes here refer to the lower Koi in the group, The number 7 is a sign of great luck and good fortune on Chinese and Japanese life. These are called Shichi-fuku-ji Koi, The seven lucky Koi gods.


11 Ichiban Scroll                12 Koi Golden           13 Koi Black                14 Koi Red                    14 Carp Brown           15 Carp Green

Click above pictures for a bigger image


 These come with silk covered boxes and engraved plaques on the ends of each box making this a wonderful gift for anyone that keeps Koi. A great bargain buy at 99  for a hand painted work of art. Post is 10 for these scrolls