A centre specially for Japanese Koi

Shori (right) and a visitor taking a closer look at one of the entries for the inaugural Malaysian Open Koi Championship.

The Star Online, February 15, 2006

THE official opening of the Sentul Park Koi Centre last Sunday is another feather in the cap for YTL's Sentul West development.?

“We are bringing the beauty of Japanese Koi culture here. In Japan, Koi are affectionately known as the 'Living Jewels',” said the centre's managing director Luke Shori.?

On the eve of the opening ceremony, seminars were conducted by Japan's top Koi breeders for visitors. A charity Koi auction was also held.?

Eight breeders - Fujio Oomo, Makoto Tanaka, Hisato Nogami, Shigeru Mano, Futoshi Maruyama, Takayoshi Omosako, Kentaro Sakai and Ryuki Narita - were in town in conjunction with the launch to share their experience and expertise with local Koi enthusiasts. ?

Maruyama, the owner of the 12 year old Showa which won in the 36th All Japan Shinkokai Grand Championship last year enlightened the audience on his winning Showa's growth from six to 11 years old.?

“Although it is important for a Koi to have a good bloodline to display its exceptional characteristics, we need to be patient in order to see the changes. Normally, it will only show its true potential after the age of five,” he pointed out.?

Nogami, who took on the responsibility to care for Showa in his mud pond from eight to 11 years old, said he is proud to be able to provide a better living condition for the winning Showa.?

“So far, only three Showas have won the prestigious title throughout the competition's history,” he added.

Other speakers included Oomo, Tanaka and Mano. They spoke on Koi bloodlines, specialised farming techniques and Koi appreciation.?

The Sentul Park Koi Centre is dedicated to the art of rearing Koi.

In addition, RM80,000 was raised through the auction of 48 Koi. Proceeds from the auction were channelled to the Kiwanis chapter in Bangsar for its neurological and stroke rehabilitation programme. 

Meanwhile, participants in the inaugural Malaysian Open Koi Championship competed for the Prime Minister's Cup and Agriculture Minister's Challenge Trophy as part of the official launch celebration. 

The area dedicated to the art of rearing Koi, situated near the lush green lung of Sentul Park and Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in Sentul West, has been operating for almost a year.

Besides the 700,000-litre main pond, the other 200,000-litre pond houses Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's special collection of Koi. 

A selection of reading, audio and visual materials on the art of rearing Koi are also available at its resource centre. 

Yuritei, a Japanese restaurant is also operating at the centre to cater to visitors. 

Although the centre is equipped with a wide range of retail ponds, Shori stressed that it is not solely a commercial retail centre. 

“We want our visitors to feel that nature is alive at the centre. It is also our small contribution towards nurturing natural beauty.  

“The centre is also an ideal place for family outings,” said Shori.  

© 1995-2005 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

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