Shubunkin Goldfish
  Origin - Japan Difficulty - Beginner
  Availability - Common Adult Size - 10 to 15 inches
  Price - Cheap Scales - Nacreous



  Japanese Shubunkin - A good example of a show quality Japanese Shubunkin.

  Shubunkins - Japanese Shubunkins in a tank with somw Wakin.

  Bristol Shubunkin - A good example of the British standard.

  Pond Feeding - Several juvenile Shubunkins living in a tub with some Comet goldfish.


History and Origin of the Shubunkin

The blue seen here is actually a gray color caused by black skin under nacreous scales...the blue coloration is a trick of light

Also called "Chuwen-Chin", the name literally translates to "The Poor Man's Koi" in Chinese. They were originally bred in Japan. Kichigoro Akiyama is credited with first developing this breed around 1900.

These are common goldfish that have been bred to have calico color and nacreous scales. Though there are several variations of this breed, the default is the Japanese version (sometimes called the American version).

Special Care for Shubunkins

Japanese Shubunkins like this one are the default for the breed

Like Common Goldfish, Shubunkins are very hardy and require no special care. They are commonly kept in ponds and can survive any conditions that Common Goldfish can survive. Shubunkins tend to be smaller than Common Goldfish however, and dont live quite as long.

Ideal Characteristics for the Shubunkin

Not all Shubunkins will have this much blue coloration...these are considered above average specimens

Thier body shape is identical to that of the Common Goldfish for all intents and purposes, and should be proportioned similar to a Common Goldfish. The main differences are in the length of the caudal fin and in their coloration.

The caudal fin should be deeply forked, flowing, and end in a sharp point. In fact, the standard Shubunkin (the American/Japanese version) is sometimes referred to as the "Comet Shubunkin". All other fins are similar to the Common Goldfish but longer.

All Shubunkins are expected to have a similar coloration; Calico with patches of black, violet, yellow brown, orange and red. Blue should be the predominant background color, covering 25% of the body or more. The heavier the blue coloration, the better. Shubunkins without true calico coloration are not considered to be real Shubunkins.

Striking, sharply contrasting colors (deep reds and blacks) are favored in Shubunkins. All Shubunkins have nacreous scales. Pigment should extend into the fins (though it doesnt have to be entirely opaque), and all coloration should be vibrant and intense.

Known Variants of the Shubunkin

An example of a London Shubunkin

Bristol Shubunkins are a British variant with large, well spread, and rounded caudal fins. The large picture at the top of this page is a Bristol Shubunkin. The Caudal fin is broad and rounded with a mild fork (looking like a heart shape in profile). Unlike the Japanese version, all fins are erect and shorter than the Japanese version (except for the caudal fin, which should be almost as long as the body).

Another British variant is the London Shubunkin, which has shorter fins than the Bristol, and a much shallower fork in the caudal fin, but is otherwise similar to the Bristol variant.

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