Dictionary of Ichthyology  

gyotaku = the Japanese printing art (from gyo = fish and taku = print, impression, rubbing). Paint or ink is applied to a fish and fine paper pressed onto it resulting in a relief print. The Japanese used this, starting in the mid-eighteenth century,  as proof of a fish catch, but it is now an art form. An indirect form involves cleaning the fish surface of mucus, sealing gills and anus to prevent leakage of bodily fluids, supporting fins on pieces of wood, and then applying coloured inks to the paper in layers with a silk-covered wad of cotton. Only the eye is painted in with a brush in both methods.

Gyotaku by Don E. McAllister. Scanned by Brian W. Coad.

Canadian Museum of Nature