The translation of the name Hikarimono can be broken up into two words; Hikari, meaning “shining” in Japanese, and mono, meaning “ones”.
The koi most commonly associated with this group are Ogon (formerly spelled Ohgon), but the classification also takes in metallic Matsuba. In 1921, a Magoi with a gold-striped back was caught from a river in Takezawa, Yamakoshi prefecture, by Sawata Aoki. Fascinated by this unusual carp, he and his son Hideyoshi embarked on a process of selective breeding, keeping back only those fish that showed some golden scalation.
After four of five generations, Aoki succeeded in producing the forerunners of the Ogon – Ginbo and Kinbo, along with Kin Kabuto and Gin Kabuto. The latter had silver edges to their dark scales and a characteristic helmet-shaped head marking, rather like that found on today’s ghost koi. All four types are still thrown in spawnings today, but are considered valueless. Aoki spawned the first true Ogon in 1946, the result of a union between a female Shiro Muji and eight males from his 25-year breeding program