Shittaku (wet rubbing) (湿拓)

The term "shittaku" refers to a rubbed copy made by placing wet paper on an object and then putting black ink on it. Although the original method of making rubbings was only shittaku, another method called kantaku (dried rubbing) was developed later, and then this term was created in order to distinguish wet rubbings from dried rubbings.

Also, people didn't use the terms "kansetsu-taku" (indirect rubbing) and "chokusetsu-taku"(direct rubbing), and the term "takuhon" (a rubbing) referred to a copy made in an indirect way, while any copies made in a direct way were called insatsu (printing), hanga (block prints), or oin (putting a seal). The term "gyotaku" (fish rubbing) was wrongly adopted because this had been primarily called gyoban (literally, "fish printing") or gyoin (literally, "fish stamp").

In China, paper is moistened before it is put on an object such as a stone or a piece of metal to make a shittaku, but in Japan, paper is first put on the object and then moistened with a water spray, a wet towel, or a wet brush so that the paper sticks to the object. The paper may tear if too much water is applied, but the paper will not stick on the object if the water is too little. The important thing is to use a proper amount of water to stick the paper on the object without rumples. Additionally, the paper should be somewhat dried before putting black ink; otherwise, the ink may run on the paper or become faint.

[Original Japanese]