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:

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 should be self-coloured (red, orange, yellow, blue, brown, black or white) or variegated (any combination of these colours in a pleasing pattern similar on each side). Good 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. 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:

wakin standard, side view wakin standard, top view


Young wakins

young wakins 2009 young wakins 2009

Young red-white variegated wakins. Photographed at GSGB 2009.

young wakin, right young wakin, left

Self-coloured young red metallic wakin with very fine colour. Photographed at BAS 2004.

Young adults

young adult wakins young adult wakins

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.

Mature adults

wakin 2009 wakin 2009

Red-white variegated adult wakins; noticed the shortened body contour, compared with the common goldfish or the comet. Photographed at GSGB 2009.

wakins wakins

Large, adult fish, red-white and self-coloured red metallic. Photographed in Hong Kong, December 2000.



Red-white metallic fish. Photographed in Hong Kong, December 2003.

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