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The wakin is a common goldfish with a divided, fantail-like tail and is the common goldfish of the Far East, particularly in Japan; in fact, our Western common goldfish with wild-type, single caudal and anal fins is uncommon in the Far East. These fish can grow large; those in the three pictures of Hong Kong fish in 2000 were over 10 inches (25 cm) in length when photographed.
The body and finnage are as for the common goldfish except that the body is shorter and the anal fin and the tail are divided; the tail is carried flatter than in the fantail goldfish. The colour is metallic or calico, although calico fish are less common.
There is a variety called the watonai which is intermediate between the wakin and the ryukin.
The wakin standard (published in 2016) is as follows:
- Depth of body to be approximately 40% of body length.
- Caudal fin to be divided and forked with slightly rounded, well-spread lobes held above the horizontal.
- Dorsal fin to be single, all other fins to be paired and their extremities slightly rounded.
- Minimum body length to be 7.5 cm (3 inches).
The fish should be bright and alert. The body should be strong and sturdy with a smooth outline. The caudal fin should be well divided, forked, and held slightly above the horizontal.
Metallic fish may be self-coloured (red, orange, yellow, blue, brown or black) or variegated (any combination of red, orange, yellow, blue, brown, black and white) in a pleasing pattern similar on each side. Quality fish will have high colour intensity and metallic shine extending into the fins.
Calico fish should have a blue background with patches of violet, red, orange, yellow, brown and white, spotted with black. Quality fish should have a high intensity of colour evenly distributed over the body, with colour, especially black, extending into the fins.
Ideal profiles are illustrated below:
Young red-white variegated wakins. Photographed at GSGB 2009.
Self-coloured young red metallic wakin with very fine colour. Photographed at BAS 2004.
Young adult wakins, well illustrating the fantail-like double tail and the double anal fin. Photographed at BAS 2004. This pair and the young fish above were the first wakins seen for a number of years at our show.
Adult red wakins shown at BAS 2011.
Adult red wakins (left) shown at BAS 2018 (photograph by Mário Barros).
The wakin tail
Front and rear photographs illustrating the fantail-style tail of the wakin. Photographed at BAS 2011.
© Bristol Aquarists' Society