Naoki Hayashi is a fisherman and artist from Kaneohe, Hawaii. His love of nature and the ocean helped him create a contemporary and uniquely local take on an ancient Japanese art form, Gyotaku, or fish printing.
CNN recently flew a crew to the islands to fish with him. They were out all day but the clip is very brief. You can enjoy it here.
Gyotaku in Japan served the purpose that our photos on piers everywhere do, with art on handmade washi paper in place of proud fishermen and women of all ages holding their catch high. They were a record of the species and size caught.
Now, Naoki catches fish around the Hawaiian islands. He is very careful to return any babies to the sea to help the species thrive. Through his art, those of us on the team who might never get in a boat are able to learn about our fish here in the islands.
Naoki has adapted the traditional Japanese art form to include our local fish in the Hawaiian Islands. He works to bring color and life to the compositions, showing the species as they lived. Colorful Mahimahi chase malolos and our Uhu or parrotfish nibble as they do coral on the reef. (Did you know that Uhu make sand? Consider that next time you’re walking on the beach and maybe thank an Uhu!)
Naoki wastes nothing. After each fish or octopus has done it’s work in the studio, they are washed and cooked and shared.
Naoki is always growing, always reaching and finding new ways to explore. His enthusiasm and love for the art form is a treat to enjoy. We celebrate him and hope to be able to share that joy and enthusiasm with you here.