Meaning and Symbolism of Koi Fish in Feng Shui

Updated March 29, 2022
Kois In A Japanese Garden Pond

Koi fish symbolism (pronounced coy fish) is common in both Chinese culture and feng shui, depicted in artwork, clothing, tattoos, and even with live fish used in landscape design. By knowing the koi fish meaning and long history, you can more easily understand why people revere this beautiful fish so deeply.

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.

Meaning and Symbolism of Koi Fish

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

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

What Do Koi Fish Represent in Yin Yang?

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 teardrop 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.

Koi Harmony and Happiness

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.

Lucky Koi Fish Color Meanings

Different colors of koi fish are an important part of their symbolism. Certain colors represent aspects or outcomes in life.

Koi Fish Color Meanings Infographic

Kumonryu Black Koi Fish Meaning

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 Kumonryu koi symbolizes life changes and transformations.

Ogon Silver Koi Fish Symbolism

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

Kuchibeni White and Red "Lipstick" Koi Fish Significance

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. Kuchibeni koi represents love and long-lasting relationships.

Kohaku White and Red Koi Fish Meaning

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

Yamabuki Golden Koi Fish Symbolism

The Yamabuki koi is gold in coloring and symbolizes riches and wealth.

Close-Up Of Fish Swimming In Sea

What Do Koi Fish Symbolize in Feng Shui Design?

When you're applying feng shui to interior design, koi fish can represent abundance and prosperity in paintings, drawings, photographs, or sculpture. The placement of koi fish artwork in your home can attract positive abundance and prosperity energy. You can include live koi in a home either in a pond or very large aquarium. If you are considering raising a koi on your own, be sure that you nurture their auspicious energy by keeping the water clean and well-filtered and ensuring they have ample space to swim and grow.

Koi Fish Legends

Many 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. When you introduce the positive energy of koi fish into your home, you are tapping into the power of this auspicious and beautiful symbol of abundance.

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Meaning and Symbolism of Koi Fish in Feng Shui