Japanese candy artistry is a performing art with a history going back over a thousand years. Amezaiku was offered during the Heian period to wide eyed children (794-1185) and is still seen at festival stands when the Amezaiku master takes a blob of taffy sugar called mizuame and turns it into an animal or character. It’s amazing to see it, like a clown make balloon animals at a kid’s birthday party. Amezaiku masters have only 2-3 minutes to make the character before the warm candy hardens and it sets.
Today, we’ll go to a shop that is preserving this traditional culture in Sendagi, Tokyo near Yanaka Ginza where old Tokyo still exists.
Akezaiku Yoshihara is a place where you can see hundreds of traditional Japanese candy and even request one to be made!
Also, I commissioned a candy bust of myself from the shop. It took a week and cost me $100. Watch to the end to see if it looks like me. What do you think?
Amezaiku these days costs between $3 for small and simple character animals to $10 for normal sized and up to $20 and $100 for very complicated pieces.
Is Amezaiku art — or candy?
To Yoshihara-san, it’s candy first and if you’re hungry, just take a bite! Nothing lasts forever.
Where is Yoshihara san’s shop?
あめ細工吉原 千駄木 本店
The video was produced and created by John Daub.
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