Hanako, a beautiful scarlet colored female Japanese koi fish, lived to be 226 years old.

Say whaaaat!

Two-hundred-and-twenty-six years old.

That´s 2 centuries + 2 decades + an additional 6 years just for rubbing your fins.

Hanako, meaning “flower girl” in Japanese, was born in 1751, five years BEFORE classical genius Mozart was born. She died in 1977 on the 7th of July (7/7/77).

It can be challenging to fathom the insane longevity of Hanako when we compare it to famous historical events. Unaware and safely swimming in her Japanese koi pond, Hanako lived through:

  • James Cook discovering Australia (1770)
  • the French Revolution (1789-1799). The one with guillotines chopping heads off.
  • the world population passing 1 billion (1801). Now its 7.5 billion.
  • Napoleon defeated at the Battle of Waterloo (1815)
  • Abolishment of slavery (1865)
  • Thomas Edison invents the light bulb (1879)
  • First and Second World War (1918) (1945)
  • Neil Armstrong, first man to set foot on the Moon (1969)
  • Rocking with Elvis and The Beatles (60-70´s)

OK, OK, OK, you get the point. Hanako was a fascinating old chagoi koi. Not the biggest but certainly the oldest koi carp ever recorded in history.

Weighing in at 8 kg (17 lbs) and   she was definitely not the biggest but certainly the oldest koi carp ever recorded in history.

This is a picture of Hanako in Japan just a few years before she died.

Hanako Koi


Rumors are that in her early days, she was a total slut in the pond. Banging anything koi-like that moved. But she was just ahead of her time, because that’s what all the young carp do now anyway. She would casually be swimming around, then slowly moving up on an unsuspected koi trying out really cheesy pick up lines. This was her favorite: “You’re KOI-LICIOUS”. It worked. Every. Damn. Time.


How long do koi fish normally live?

Sorry, the average koi life span doesn’t come anywhere near Hanako, but there are things you can do to increase their age.

Koi life span can vary greatly depending on the genetics, sub-species and quality of care. Under normal pond conditions common among hobbyist the koi life span averages 20-30 years.  

Through superior pond conditions with plenty of well-filtrated water, minimizing predatorial stress with adequate security systems and a premium dietary plan, it is not uncommon for the average koi age to reach 30-40 years.

You’ll find the ultimate koi life span conditions in the mountainous mud-ponds of Japan, fed by natural lakes and streams. In this environment, where the origins of koi breeding have its roots, koi are known to live to the age of 60-70 years.


How ginormous is the biggest koi fish in the world?

One would expect Hanako to be a cracking contender here, but with her abysmal 8 kg (18 lbs) weigh-in, she doesn’t come anywhere close to the largest koi carp on record.

The prize as the world’s biggest koi carp goes to Big Girl, a 42 kg (91 lbs) monster of a koi, owned by Geoff Lawton in Wiltshire, England. This gigantic specimen is 1,25 meters long (4,1 ft) and eats half a kilo of pedigree food daily to sustain her weight. 


Get Sh*t Done before you die…

Look, you are not Hanako and you´re not gonna live forever. You may have 60 years left on this precious planet or maybe only 10 years. Heck, you may fall in the shower tomorrow morning and die cracking your skull open (yep, that´s the number 1 domestic killer).

Wouldn´t it be awesome if on your death bed, your life’s mission had been completely fulfilled. If there were no limits and there was nothing holding you back, what would you do before you die.