Japanese candy maker Shinri Tezuka makes absolutely amazing lollipops and candies-on-stick that look like real, live animals. The candies are made from a mixture of starch and sugary syrup that gives them a gelatin-like appearance, which suits him well, for Shinri Tezuka chooses animals that are naturally translucent – fishes, frogs and octopus.
What Shinri Tezuka does is actually a centuries-old Japanese art form called “amezaiku”. Traditionally, this unique craft of making intricate sugar figures of animals and other creatures was practiced by street vendors. But new health regulations and competition from more modern forms of fun have caused the art form to gradually die out. Thankfully, young and upcoming artists such as Shinri Tezuka are not only keeping alive the tradition, but have also given this ancient art form a new style.
Shinri Tezuka’s small shop in Tokyo’s Asakusa district called “Ameshin”, is one of Japan’s only two stores specializing in amezaiku. His animal confectionery sells for 1000-2000 yen (8-17 USD) each. Tezuka also offers courses for those interested in learning this craft.
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