Japan 1500 CE

The most significant impact of goldfish on a culture came in 1500 CE when these domesticates starting exporting from China to Japan (Clutton-Brock, 2012, pp 96-97). 

Japan Goldfish Culture

Japanese culture was affected immediately and more extensively than culture in China.  Just as in China, only the privileged first experienced goldfish, the samurai in this case [6].  Japanese breeders were able to produce new species like the Ranchu and Ryukin which are still popular today ( Matsubara, 1910, pp 383-396).   Goldfish were adored by all kinds of people eventually, from the poor to the incredibly wealthy.  The challenge of breeding goldfish was embraced by the Japanese as a challenge and skillful art form.  There are even festivals that last days in honor of the goldfish.  By standers admire the fish on display and competitions provide breeders a chance to be recognized for their hard work with prizes (Matsubara, 1910, pp 383-396).  Although physical aspects of goldfish are susceptible to alterations, some techniques to achieve desired breeds are extensive and can take years to pay off for breeders.  This payoff is not money, in fact there is little commercial value in goldfish, yet their popularity is still evident in Japan and shows the true embedment of fish into a culture.  Goldfish even became a status symbol in Japan.  The rich not only had the more exotic breeds of goldfish, they also displayed them in a way that showed their social class (Matsubara, 1910, pp 383-396).  One of the clearest indicators of the effect of goldfish on Japanese culture is the extent their citizens will go to obtain fish.  Hokkaido Japan gets too cold for goldfish to survive there in the winter, so the town has goldfish shipped yearly in the summertime (Matsubara, 1910, pp 383-396).                                 

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