What is Gyotaku?

Have you ever heard of Gyotaku? This traditional Japanese art form originated in the 1800s as a way to scientifically record marine species and measure the fisherman’s catch. The word Gyotaku translates to “fish rubbing”, which is exactly what it entails. Using delicate rice paper, the exact features and characteristics of individual fish are reproduced through a meticulous printing process.

Gyotaku is an intricate and particular art form that requires the use of real fish. As an animal lover who believes in sustainability and ethical practices, I ensure that each fish I catch and paint is also consumed. Living by the coast, I have recorded a variety of species, including salmon, bream, herring, and dhufush.

Depending on the size of the fish and the materials used, the Gyotaku process can be quite complex. However, the end result is a beautiful and unique piece of artwork that captures the essence of the fish. If you’re interested in seeing some of my Gyotaku pieces, visit my portfolio page, or follow me on Instagram for more updates.

Caris Pepper Visual Artist Workshops - Gyotaku