Gyotaku (Japanese 魚拓, from gyo "fish" + taku "stone impression") is the traditional Japanese method of printing fish, a practice which dates back to the mid-1800s.
Gyotaku is a Japanese method of printmaking that traditionally utilises fish, sea creatures or similar subjects as printing “plates” in its process. The literal translation of the word is “fish stone rubbing”.
Gyotaku, or Japanese fish printing, was originally used to record and commemorate a fisherman’s catch. Prints were made using Sumi ink and Washi paper. This original form of Gyotaku, as a recording method for fisherman, is still utilised today, and can be seen hanging in tackle shops in Japan and Okinawa.
The prints are then wet mounted using the Chinese method to create a completely flat and crease free picture.