The Tradition of Fish Printing
Gyotaku (Japanese from gyo "fish" + taku "rubbing") is the traditional Japanese method of printing fish, a practice which dates back to the 18th century. Before cameras were invented, fisherman needed a way to record what species the fish they caught was, and how big it was. They developed a method of printing the fish by using rice paper. The fishermen would take brushes and paint out to sea with them, and when they caught a fish, print it right on the paper to document it. These would often be used as aids for telling stories and were thought to bring good luck.
Where We Source Our Fish
The fish used for the prints are caught on Harsens Island and neighboring Russell Island by myself using various fishing methods. Harsens Island is located on the Saint Clair River. This river flows into Lake Saint Clair and has a wide assortment of fish swimming through it everyday. We use these local Great Lakes fish to produce the prints found on our shirts and other products.