is the term applied to a koi that has a single base color of
white (shiro bekko), or red (aka bekko), or yellow (ki bekko).
Over this base color are black markings in the form of spots
generally confined to the body above the lateral line.
Bekko is to sanke as utsuri is to showa. Thus, all
criteria that apply to sanke sumi quality and pattern are
applicable to bekko sumi.
The base color
(whether shiro, aka, or ki) of the body must be unblemished,
thick, rich, and of uniform hue and quality. The base color must not exhibit any
sign of tint of a different color.
markings of a bekko must be deep, solid, and shiny lacquer-black. The shape of
every sumi spot must be clearly defined, with its kiwa or
edges as sharp as possible. Undeveloped sumi (also known
as 'sashi') may appear
mottled dark blue or gray instead of solid black. This
is not bad for a young koi, since sumi actually develops as
the koi grows older.
The base color and black markings of a bekko must be artistically
This means that a certain color must not be confined to one
side or one end of the koi only.
The sumi of a bekko must be distributed in the koi body such
that they collectively add balance to the koi. Old-style
bekko koi are heavily endowed with sumi.
Modern bekko koi exhibit a sparser distribution of sumi, but these
should be clearly defined and solid black nonetheless.
important consideration in choosing a bekko is the cleanliness
of its head. Its head should be unblemished by any sumi
or shimi (small black spots), and should be as white and
pristine as possible.
Please see separate article on
The Ideal Koi Body.