The Ryukin in some respects has become an intermediate between the fantail and the veiltail: it has a deep body and usually a medium to a fairly long tail, but the tail is held high and its lobes are narrow; the other fins are similar to the fantails. In two respects it is different from either: the head is pointed and there is an indentation in the anterior dorsal contour where the head joins the rest of the body, giving a dorsal hump. The Ryukin is Chinese in origin. It is unknown when the ryukin was bred but it is thought to come from the Wakin. It has been so named because it was said to have arrived in Japan through the Ryuku Islands. There were historical references that the existence of ryukins dates back to 1833, but it is said to have arrived in Japan in the 1770s. Early Japanese literature refers to the ryukin as the Onaga (longtail) or the Nagasaki goldfish. In English texts, they are also referred to as the Japanese ribbon tail, the fringe tail, the fantail or the veiltail, and is likely to be the progenitor of the veil and the fan-tailed varieties.

Ryukin goldfish, Plate XIX in Goldfish and Their Culture in Japan, by Shinnosuke Matsubara, Published 1908
Nationwide Standard