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An American challenging for super artistic color gyotaku.

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An American challenging for super artistic color gyotaku.
  • Scott
    Scott
    usaFascinated by Japanese color gyotaku.
    39-year old carpenter Scott from America started gyotaku 5 years ago as a hobby and is visiting Japan to take up a lesson from a pro this time.

An American challenging for super artistic color gyotaku.

  • Taking a lesson from a pro this time instead of self-learning.

    Taking a lesson from a pro this time instead of self-learning.

    Scott is visiting Japan to take a lecture of gyotaku. He is from America and has been self-learning gyotaku for 5 years but to move on to the next level he has decided to take a lecture from the gyotaku artist Ryuka Yamamoto. This appointment was made 9 months ago and finally his dream is coming true.


    What is gyotaku?

    What is gyotaku?

    Gyotaku is a traditional Japanese method of printing fish and it isn't popular in America. As a basic method inks are applied directly to the surface of a caught fish and the image of it is printed to a material such as paper. This is a traditional method started in the Edo era in order to compete on the size of fish. Teacher Yamamoto is known for his color art gyotaku and his works are highly valued for its bright color that is considered rare for gyotaku.


    A huge gyotaku!

    A huge gyotaku!

    There are color gyotaku of a giant squid and killer whale that took teacher Yamamoto a whole month to create cooperating with the National Museum of Nature and Science displayed at his studio. He is popular around the glove and with his great sense of English language and humor he has taught over 200 people from all over the world.


    A dream lecture to begin.

    A dream lecture to begin.

    The next day of arrival the lecture starts already. Today is a practice with flatfish. First the glue is applied to a flatfish then a material is placed on top, then finally the colors are applied. Flatfish itself is brown but it's actually a combination of many different colors so the total of 5 colors are used to get closer to its actual color.


    Gently and carefully.

    Gently and carefully.

    The colors are applied by a tool called "tanpo" which is a cotton ball covered in silk. The same spot is tapped gently for about 40 times with inks to apply each color slowly. First of all the colors yellow, red, brown and the mixture of brown and green are used to express the actual color of a flatfish.


    The most challenging part of color gyotaku, the eyes.

    The most challenging part of color gyotaku, the eyes.

    Eyes are the most challenging part of printing gyotaku. The image can change dramatically by how the eyes are expressed and Scott nervously applies the colors countless times.


    Finished! Good for a beginner.

    Finished! Good for a beginner.

    Finally the flatfish gyotaku is printed. According to teacher Yamamoto the Scott's passion for learning has reflected to his techniques which resulted in him learning quicker than other people.


    Dreaming of catching up with half of the teacher Yamamoto's techniques.

    Dreaming of catching up with half of the teacher Yamamoto's techniques.

    The lecture is completed. Scott shares his dream of becoming a pro gyotaku artist like teacher Yamamoto. If you ever see a color gyotaku in America that might be Scott's! Good luck learning more techniques and inheriting Japanese culture.