Gyotaku (Japanese 魚拓, from gyo "fish" + taku "rubbing") is a traditional form of Japanese fish printing, dating from the mid 1800s, a form of nature printing used by fishermen to record their catches. There are two methods used in gyotaku. The direct approach is the best way to do gyotaku. In order to make a gyotaku print, one places the subject (e.g. fish, crab, scallop shell) on a wooden bench and paints one side with sumi ink. Modern gyotaku artists often substitute acrylic or other painting material for the traditional sumi.
Gyotaku is also practiced as a form of art, and is very popular among young children both in Japan and Western countries. Sometimes, rubber fish replicas are used.
An excellent "how-to" article by Joe Higgins, "Fish Print's: Get into Gyotaku for a one-of-a-kind trophy" with detailed instructions and photo's was published in the January 2010 edition of On The Water magazine.
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