Nishikigoi is said to have originated in the district of former
Yamakoshi Village (current Nagaoka City) and Ojiya City in
Niigata Prefecture (at latitude 37°55 north and longitude 139°02 east) is
located directly above Tokyo, further north than Nagano Prefecture, in which
the Winter Olympics was held. It faces the Japan Sea. Since early times, it
has been known as a major production area of rice, the staple diet of the
Japanese people. It also is abundant in seafood as it faces the ocean. It
attracts many visitors in the winter as there are many ski resorts and hot
The birthplace of Nishikigoi, Yamakoshi Village, is located in the Chuestu
region, located just about in the center of Niigata. Its rich nature and beautiful
seasonal scenery make remarkable photo spots and attract many
photographers. The residents live a mountain life in the grand mountains with
the spirits of “not destroying the nature but living with it. Such scenery is one
of the few original Japanese scenes.
However, Yamakoshi Village’s winter is harsh. Niigata itself is known as an
area of heavy snowfall, but snowfall in Yamakoshi is so extraordinary that
snow can accumulate up to more than 4 meters (13 feet). If nothing is done
about the snow, the houses will collapse under the weight, so it is a daily
routine for family members to sweep it off the roof in winter. This is called
“yukioroshi. Until the 1970s, the village was called “the onshore isolated
island because it was totally cut off from the outside world.
Since the land is surrounded by steep mountains and has little flat areas, the
residents (farmers) raked the mountains and built fields called “rice terraces
to grow crops. The village is located inland. The residents did not have much
access to seafood, so they raised Magoi as a source of wintertime protein in
the preserve ponds built to irrigate the rice terraces. Until one day, this Magoi
mutated and colored Koi was born. This is the origins of today’s Nishikigoi.
- Japan(right figure)…dimension 145,882miles², population 127,333,002.
Capital=Tokyo (Blue in right figure)
- Niigata Prefecture (Red in right figure, left figure)…dimension 4,858miles²,
population 2,444,108. Prefecture Capital = Niigata City
Sister City…August 5, 2005, Heilongjiang China
- Yamakoshi Village (Red in left figure)…dimension 15.4miles², population
*On April 1, 2005, merged with neighboring Nagaoka City.
- Nagaoka City (Green in left figure)…dimension 203miles², population 236,423
Sister cities…November 9, 1987, Forth Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
October 10, 1995, Bamberg, Germany
October 12, 1995, Trier, Germany
June 4, 1986, Romainmotier, Switzerland
- Ojiya City (Yellow in left figure)…dimension 60miles², population 40,973