Gyotaku Fish Printing

Learn the art of gyotaku fish printing with an expert!

Before the advent of photography, in the mid 19th century, when fishermen sought to have proof of their catches, lest others just smile at their tall tales, they would coat one side of the fish they’d caught with ink and then cover it with rice-straw paper, rubbing gently until an impression was made. The non-toxic ink was then washed off the fish so it could be sold at market and the fisherman was left with a beautiful memento of his catch.

Although the technique was, for many years, unique to Japan’s fishermen, from the mid 20th century the form gradually became more popular and today artists from around the world create stunning images using the same methods.

Ask us for more details if you would like to include a lesson in gyotaku as part of your trip to Japan.