The gyotaku (魚拓), from 魚 gyo, “fish” and 拓 taku, "imprinting on stone," is a traditional Japanese method of fish printing, popular since the mid-1800s. This form of printing, which uses natural objects such as leaves, flowers, small animals, and sheets of rock as matrices, was used by fishermen to record their catch, thus documenting the type of fish and its size; it has become an art form over time.
The printing method gyotaku uses fish and other small marine animals as "print matrices." Prints were made using Sumi ink and washi paper .. Il mio preferito è il metodo diretto (直接法 chokusetsu-hō), which is also the one closest to the original technique. The fish is cleaned, prepared, fixed on a support and then inked.
At this point, moistened washi paper is applied to the fish and an image is created by careful rubbing or hand pressure. The paper is then carefully removed and the reproduced image is inverted from the object to be reproduced.
Il foglio è tradizionalmente firmato con un hanko ed è anche possibile la ripresa dei dettagli a pennello e la colorazione della stampa o del fondo.