A Koi fish has been said to have lived up to the ripe old age of 226. Many people have had fish as pets before. However, we have never heard of a fish who has lived for more than a decade.
The Japanese fish named Hanako is believed to be the longest living Koi fish ever recorded. According to resources in the broadcast of The Story of Hanako, her name Hanako is translated as “flower girl” in Japanese.
The scarlet-colored female was born in 1751, the first year of Horeki, in the middle of the Tokugawa Era in Japan. Her story was first shared when her last owner Dr. Komei Koshihara made a national broadcast in 1966 on Nippon Hoso Kyokai radio station.
The fish weighed a whopping 7.5 kilograms and was 70 centimeters in length.
Koshihara stated in the broadcast, “She [Hanako] and I are dearest friends. When I call her saying “Hanako! Hanako!” from the brink of the pond, she unhesitatingly comes swimming to my feet. If I lightly pat her on the head, she looks quite delighted. Sometimes I go so far as to take her out of the water and embrace her.”
Further adding, “Although a fish, she seems to feel that she is dearly loved, and it appears that there is some communication of feeling between us.”
Moreover, Dr. Koshihara said that he knew Hanako’s age because he had it verified by Professor Masayoshi Hiro. The Professor worked at the Laboratory of Animal Science of the Nagoya Women’s College.
He stated, “As a tree trunk has its annual rings, so a fish has its annual rings on its scales, and we only have to count them to know the age of a fish.” The process took two whole months!
While the average lifespan of a scarlet Koi fish is around 40 years, Hanako managed to live well into the 1970s. She was 226 years old when she passed away on July 7, 1977.
Such a rare and beautiful fish!