Thanks to the unusually shaped red mark on its head, a koi carp has brought busloads of tourists to its home in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan, as word spreads of the “heart fish” and excited sightseers jostle for position to get a snap of it.

The fish, naturally oblivious to the reason for the attention it is suddenly receiving, now spends most of its day treading water near the bridge in Kenroku-en gardens, peering up at excited tourists’ faces, thankfully unable to hear the shrill cries of teenage girls proclaiming how “kawaii!!” it is…

Koi carp are known the world over as expensive ornamental fish, kept on display in fancy ponds thanks to their beautiful colours and sparkling scales. But when this little fishy and his heart-shaped mark were first spotted, Japanese tourists were quick to make the connection between the word “koi”, meaning “carp”, also being a homophone for the word “koi” as in “love”, and suggesting that the fish could spell good fortune for those seeking romance.

As well as having the distinctive red mark, the fish is believed to especially blessed since it is the only white fish in a pond full of black koi.

Whether it’s simply a case of a few quirks in the fish’s genetic make-up <geddit?>, or whether The Man in the Sky was indeed feeling a little more artistic than usual during its conception, the fish certainly stands out, swimming among its all-black family in the park’s spacious pond.

Kenroku-en itself was established as far back as the 1600s, making it one of Japan’s oldest parks.

First opened to the public in 1874, along with its stunning Kasumi pond, the park is home to lush gardens, exotic fountains and classic Japanese lanterns, making it a must-see spot should you ever be in the Chubu region of Japan. Those visiting the gardens during winter, in particular, are often rewarded with the chance to witness its breathtakingly beautiful snow-clad panoramic views and picture-postcard Japanese landscaping.

And, so long as he’s not busy signing autographs or getting his colours touched-up, perhaps you’ll get to see the park’s newest tourist attraction, too!

What with all the attention the heart fish has been receiving, here at RocketNews24 we can’t help but feel a little sorry for the other koi in the pond, who no-doubt feel rather left out and unappreciated. With this in mind, we knocked together a few quick design ideas that they may want to consider.

I mean, since all those tourists are flocking in now, the other fish might as well cash in and get some sponsorship, right?

▼From left to right: 1-Up Mushroom Koi, Nike Koi, Apple Koi

Source / title image: The Hokkoku Shinbun image edited by RocketNews24