The Symbolism of Koi Fish in Feng Shui

The Symbolism of Koi Fish in Feng Shui

Koi fish symbolism (pronounced coy fish) is common in Chinese culture and feng shui. 

What is a Koi Fish?

Koi is the Japanese word for carp, a brightly colored type of freshwater fish commonly used in Asian landscape and design, including Chinese feng shui. The fish come in a variety of colors and have symbolic meaning in feng shui.

Many of the attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons and even trials individuals often encounter in life. Koi fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream. Some of the characteristics associated with koi fish include:

  • Good fortune
  • Success
  • Prosperity
  • Longevity
  • Courage
  • Ambition
  • Perseverance


Koi Fish Legends

Many of the above described symbolic meanings of koi fish stem from the Chinese legend of the Dragon Gate in which a koi fish swam upstream, through waterfalls and other obstacles to reach the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain was the "Dragon Gate". The legend says that when the koi finally reached the top, it became a dragon, one of the most auspicious creatures in Chinese culture.


Koi Fish Feng Shui Use and Significance

Fish has always been one of the most widely used good luck symbols that co-related to attract wealth and abundance in the Feng Shui world, because the word fish in Chinese (Yu) sounds like "Surplus", representing overflow of good fortune. In addition, fish belong to the water element and in Chinese belief, water also symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Besides these, koi fish is also a symbol of success and determination.


Koi Fish Color Meanings

Koi fish come in a variety of several bright colors such as yellow, red, blue, white and black.

White and red koi fish

This koi has a white body with red spots. It symbolizes success in your career.

Black koi fish

There are two main variations of this koi. One variation is a koi with a white body and black spots, and the other is an all black body. This koi symbolizes life changes and transformations. It is used for protection, neutralize negative energy and to ward off evil. If the black one dies, it is believed that it has helped the owner avert a disaster on his behalf.

Silver koi fish

This solid, silver colored koi symbolically represents success in business and wealth.

White and red "lipstick" koi fish

This white and red patterned koi is often referred to as the "lipstick" fish, because the red coloring around its mouth makes it appear as though the fish is wearing lipstick. This koi represents love and long-lasting relationships.

Golden koi fish

This koi is gold in coloring and symbolizes riches and wealth.


Yin Yang Koi Fish

In feng shui, the koi is tied to the yin yang symbol. In fact, the black and white teardrops of the yin yang symbol are said to be representations of two koi, one male and one female. The eye of each teardropp is symbolic of the constant watchful eye of the koi. This pairing of fish is often seen outside the context of the yin yang symbol as well. For example, a pair of koi is often used as a good luck symbol for a happy marriage.

The koi is synonymous with harmony and happiness. The two yin and yang koi complete each other and create a perfect balance of the negative and positive energies of chi energy, which is the life-force of all things on earth.


Koi Fish Feng Shui Tips 

Koi can be represented in interior design with artwork such as paintings, drawings, photographs or sculpture. Its placement is said to attract auspicious abundance and prosperity into your home and life and some opt to have multiple representations of this fish.

Koi can be included in home either in a pond or very large aquarium. If you are considering raising a koi on your own, be sure that you always usher auspicious energy your way by keeping the water fastidiously clean and well-filtered and by ensuring they have ample space to swim and grow. The most widely preferred numbers of Koi fish in the aquarium and artworks are 1, 3, 6, 8 and 9.

 Number of Fish Description
1 New beginning and reborn
3 Advancement and growth
6 Benefactors and mentor luck
8 Wealth and prosperity
9 Long life and smooth sailing for whole life (considered as the most auspicious number to use)