Kingyo museum: Museum of the man-made fish

Kingyo (金魚) is a summer characteristic of Japan. This summer, there was an exibition of beautiful goldfish. And we couldn’t resist going.

When we first got in, there were many goldfish stuffed into small tanks in the ceiling.

How’s your flashy home?

Is this beautiful? Yes. But we weren’t really sure if the fish were doing fine in those small shiny boxes. The fish might be living in Japan, but that does not mean their homes have to be as cramped as Japanese homes!

Aren’t they carps?

There was a huge variety of goldfish. I wonder if those in the picture above are considered goldfish. But well, I’m not a zoologist.

Goldfish with bubble cheek

Some have intriguing looks. Like the bubble cheek goldfish pictured above or the tennis ball-like goldfish below.

Tennis ball-like goldfish

While enjoying all those beautiful and interesting goldfish displayed aesthetically, we still couldn’t get rid of the concern about how those fish feel about living in those small tanks with a crowd staring at them.

A bit too jammed?

The highlight was probably the goldfish folding screen (Byobu-屏風). It looks like the one you find at a rich samurai’s house, except the goldfish here are not a painting but real.

Modern Japanese design






During the stay at this museum, we learned that goldfish are completely artificial fish and they would go extinct if we let them out in the nature. If they were able to survive and reproduce, they would eventually turn back into crucian carps.

The fact that goldfish exist solely for entertaining people with their beauty left us with mixed feeling. We genuinely hope that this is not stressful for the goldfish and that they are taken good care of, also after this temporary museum is shut down.

Author: Aimu

A Japanese woman with a heart of hygge.