At Koi Ichi Ban our target is to guide the customer the best way possible, to tell them the truth about everything, to explain how to look at a fish, how to judge, how to appreciate and understand the prices according to the quality. We never force anybody to buy any fish. We simply advise the customers by helping them to negotiate the prices with the breeders. We will always guide toward the quality, we will teach you the philosophy of the Japanese mentality and how to understand the breeders to get a better relationship. If you are humble and respectful of the breeders, you will enjoy better the koi business. We like to work in friendship and open mind. We are always humble and respectful with the breeders, and they all respect us as well. During such a long career we have built very close relations with the breeders, we never had any problem, we can visit any farm all over Japan. Everybody knows KOI ICHI BAN. Everybody knows that our story is linked to the development of the koi business in Japan. Our philosophy is Humility, Respect, Kindness, tolerance, and friendship ...
Filipino National, she got also the Belgian nationality after we got married. Secretary graduated in the Philippines, she used to work as the secretary of the Mayor in Angono Rizal Philippines then, she went to work in Japan for 15 years before she joined the KIB team. She learned to read and write Katakana and Hiragana and is very fluent in Japanese. Very sensible and sociable, Maria is friend to everyone. She is very well appreciated by the breeders and is very good to get top deals with some of them. During more than 10 years she used to drive, and guide Koi Ichi Ban ‘s customers anywhere in Niigata and even through Yamanashi. Her good contacts with the people are legendary and inspire respect. Maria will always do her best to help you, to find solution to any problem you could encounter. The customers satisfaction is her priority.
A Belgian national, having done veterinary studies then graduated in Zoology, my passion for Koi began 38 years ago. First Koi importer in Europe, I established the KOI and GOLDFISH FARM SA company in 1981, which became over time, the most important European wholesaler. In 1994, the company was the first foreign company to be registered in Niigata Japan in the domain of Nishikigoi : KOI and GOLDFISH FARM COMPANY LIMITED! I have organized the first Koi Show in Belgium. I won the Grand Champion, the first Grand Champion in Europe. The following years the customers took over to win the Grand champions supplied by KGF. Consequently, I have also contributed to the establishment of the first Koi Shows in Holland and Germany as main sponsor and also inviting ZNA Japanese judges that I took care of during their visits. In the sourse of these Koi Shows, KGF customers won some Grand Champion Titles. From 1995 to 1998 KOI and GOLDFISH FARM COMPANY LIMITED exported to Europe an average of 8000 boxes of Nishikigoi to the European Market each year. It was an amazing success. In 1998, the European Koi market was controlled by KGF as well as the United Kingdom even though my friend Peter Waddington had begun 2 or 3 years before me. In October 2000, I closed KGF to establish in Reunion island, a real paradise for me and for Koi. I registered a new company : ANIMALIA 2000, and 6 months later, I registered ANIMALIA 2000 CO LTD in Japan but, it was difficult to travel to Japan from Reunion Island. So, 2 years later with my wife we decided to go to live in the Philippines as it was much more convenient to travel to Japan that we could reach after only 4 hours flight, to live permanently. The business remained in Reunion island until 2006 when we registered the Philippines company : ANIMALIA 2000 ICHI BAN INC and almost immediately after ANIMALIA 2000 ICHI BAN Japan Branch the 3rd company I registered in Japan and during more than 10 years we used to live 6 months in Japan and 6 months in the Philippines where I also built a tropical fish breeding farm for Discus named DISCUS ICHI BAN. In the Philippines I helped to establish the first Philippines National Koi Show in 2010. I have trained most European dealers. Some of them are doing great today and it makes me proud. I also guided the best Philippines dealers for 5 years, today they are still doing very well. Now with the support of Maria, I work as an international business consultant for Koi. My passion for Koi today is still the same as it was 38 years ago. I have decided to share all that I have learned during these 38 years. My philosophy has always been education and quality rather than quantity. It is from this perspective that this partnership was born. I believe that I can bring a lot to the European customers at all levels.
There is no better feeling for me than to see customers winning in Shows all kind of awards at all levels. After I won the first Grand Champion in Belgium and in Europe, some customers told me that if I compete, they could never win, they were right so stopped competing and instead I challenged the customers to compete. Together we won a lot of prizes, Grand Champion in Belgium, in Holland and in Germany with so many other awards like Supreme Champion, Best in Variety, Baby Champion, Jumbo Champion etc, etc... In the Philippines our customers won 4-times Grand Champion out of 6 Koi shows which is outstanding ; with Jumbo Champion, Grand Champion B, Best in Varieties, Best Kohaku, Best Sanke and many more. In Japan, my customers won several awards, Best in Variety, Botan Prize, Tsubaki Prize, Kokugyo Prize, at AJKS, Best in variety with Showa at the Rinyukai Koi show. The most beautiful Asagi shown at AJKS which won 3 times Best in Variety, was sold by Koi Ichi Ban she was 93 cm, the most beautiful and the biggest Tancho Kohaku ever breeded by Dainichi that won 3 times best in variety at AJKS also sold by Koi Ichi Ban. She was also 93 cm in 2017. Customers won also Best Tategoi at Nagaoka Koi Show in 2016 and Grand champion at the same show and the same fish in 2017. Then not to forget the many First, Second and Best in Variety awards at the ZNA Koi Show and lately the most prestigious, the All Japan ZNA Grand Champion 2018 with an outstanding Sanke of 94 cm. My challenge does not stop here, I hope in a short future to be challenging the Ultimate Award in all Koi Shows : The All Japan Koi Show Grand Champion!!
A French national, I studied medecine and I graduated in biology. Having owned colored carp very young, my passion for Japanese carp began 20 years ago. My training as a biologist directed my work almost entirely in the living environment. Being a scientific journal publisher, I decided three years ago to write an encyclopedia on the Nishikigoi that will be released in one year published by Koi Ichi Ban. Based on personal experience and supported by a rich international bibliography, extending over sixty years, the purpose of this book is to correct errors in terms of identification which we often find with European dealers. Specialised in the phylogeny of all koi varieties, Gosanke and others as well as Koi genetic, I joined the Shinkokai some years ago. As a professional, I help specialist companies – eager to increase their knowledge on Koi, to make a better selection with the aim to improve advice capacity to their customers. My goals are education and quality. Furthermore, Koi democratisation will always run through accessibility. We therefore always look for better value for money. Since 2019, I took up the presidency of Koi Ichi Ban Europe SASU and I supervise import in most European countries we work with. Our company is also specialised in food and equipment distributions, the conception and equipment installations and specific products related to ponds and fish farming, the counselling and assistance provided to professionals but also the publishing of specialised books. Since 2018, we are co-publisher of the ZNA Nishikigoï France magazine of the France Koï Shows's association chaired by Joël Jouannet.