Goldfish and octopuses that look like glass, tiny real looking pandas, shiba inu dogs, rabbits, dragons, and snakes… all edible. In the art of Amezaiku (飴細工), artisans craft small candy lollipop sculptures.
During the Heian period, the art of amezaiku was imported from China and was probably first used in Japan for candy offerings made at temples in Kyoto. The amezaiku craft spread beyond the temple during the Edo period, when many forms of street performance flourished in Japan and when its base ingredient, mizuame, became widely available. In Edo it emerged in its present artistic form.
The Great Big Story episode above shares the work of 27 year old Shinri Tezuka, and one of two Japanese Amezaiku artisan candy makers that are crafting these sweet sculptures commercially. You can visit his Asakusa workshop or his Tokyo Sky Tree Town Soramachi shop, both in Tokyo.
From Shun Gate, here’s a closer look at how he makes an edible goldfish:
See more at Spoon & Tamago. And here’s the other Tokyo-based candy sculpture artisan: Amezaiku (飴細工) Japanese Candy Sculptures by Ame Yoshihara.