THE JAPANESE CALL IT “GYOTAKU” – “guyo” means fish, “taku” means rubbing – and all you need is a freshly caught fish, some paints, and a plain T-shirt or a piece of fabric to make something truly beautiful for yourself or your home. Tom and I learned how to do it from some San Diego boaters we’d met when we were
exploring in the Sea of Cortez on Feel Free. Caryn and Gary spotted the large
triggerfish and parrot fish we’d just speared, which we were taking back to our
boat for dinner, when they told us we should really print them first.
For those of us who love to catch and cook
fish and appreciate their beauty, here’s
one more very cool thing you can do
before devouring them By Liz Tosoni
“Print them?” Tom and I asked in unison. Caryn and Gary invited us aboard
Windflower, offered to teach us, and we’ve
been enjoying this pastime ever since.
Gyotaku (guh-yo-tah-koo) was first developed in Japan in the 19th century, before the
invention of photography, as a fisherman’s
method of recording the size and species of
his catch. Fish boats were supplied with ink,
brushes, and paper. Freshly caught fish were
Tom holds our dinner, a beautiful
trigger, ready for printing.
Fig. 1 Place fish on newspaper or a rag
to absorb fluids before painting.
Fig. 2 Have a friend help lay paper or
fabric on the painted fish.