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Make a Fish Print

Bring the story of Jonah and the fish to life by making your own Gyotaku print. If you prefer not to use a real fish, use a realistic rubber fish to make your impression!


In Japan there is a tradition of printing fish by dipping them into sumi ink, made with pine soot, and pressing them onto washi paper, made from the mulberry tree. These are called Gyotaku prints. The samurai would prove how big the fish they had caught were by stamping them in this way.


  • 1 whole fish (or rubber fish)

  • Tempera paint

  • Tissue paper


Step 1

Dry the fish with a paper towel.

Step 2

Place the fish on an old newspaper.

Step 3

Coat one side of the fish with paint using your fingers.

Step 4

Cover the fish with the tissue paper.

Step 5

Rub the paper covering the fish to make an impression of the fish. Make sure to rub all around the edges of the fish to get its shape.

Step 6

Carefully remove the tissue paper.

Step 7

Allow the print to dry. 

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