The legend of the koi is one that predates written history. It tells of a school of thousands of koi making a long journey swimming upstream against the current of the Yellow River in China. When they reached the bottom of the waterfall, a large number of them were discouraged and turned back.
The remaining koi refused to give up so easily and continued to leap above the cascading water to reach the top. The sounds of splashing from all their efforts caught the attention of some local demons, who sadistically raised the height of the waterfall out of malice – still, the koi persevered.
For a hundred years, the koi kept pushing against the odds until one koi crested to the top of the waterfall to make it to the river above. The gods, witnessing this colossal achievement, smiled down in approval and transformed the exhausted koi into a golden dragon.
The waterfall became known as the Dragon’s Gate, and whenever another koi summons the strength, courage, and determination to swim against the tide and through the gate, they are bestowed the same honor.
Their endurance and perseverance have made the koi symbolic of overcoming adversity and fulfilling one’s destiny.
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