In Japan, sculpting candy into works of art is a long-held tradition. Known as amezaiku, it may be fading, but some artists are trying to keep it alive. This video from Great Big Story introduces 27-year-old Shinri Tezuka, who transforms sugar into incredibly detailed figurines.
"Amezaiku is shaping softened candy into a form before it gets hard," Tezuka, who is self-taught, says in the video. "Amezaiku as we know it today was established mainly in the Endo era, which was around 1600."
Tezuka runs his own shop in Tokyo, where his goldfish sculptures have proven to be the most popular (he also creates frogs, mice, cows, tigers, rabbits, dragons, and snakes, among other animals). Despite the fact that amezaiku appears to be dying out — Tezuka's shop is one of only two in Tokyo — he earnestly hopes to single-handedly keep it alive.
"If I were asked whether amezaiku is an important part of Japanese culture or not, I would say making it an important part of Japanese culture is my job," he says. "Plus, it is charming. So I would like to be someone who helps to preserve it."
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