Have you ever heard of a traditional Japanese candy craft art known as “Amezaiku?” It is a form of art which follows the method of creating a sculpture by using tweezers and scissors in manipulating taffy or a chewy substance. Shinri Tezuka, a popular artisan, has recently introduced a new line-up of sweets in the form of lollipops designed like uchiwa fans perfect for the summer season in Japan.
Amezaiku is said to have been imported from China in the 8th century. Its popularity rose during the Edo Period. It was a time when street performances including artisan’s crafts flourished in the country. Its preparation requires monitoring when it comes to consistency. The candy base is prepared beforehand. The sculpted sweets are then distributed to the common people on the streets. Artists have to tolerate the heat when molding the candy base into the hot mass as they have to pull, twist and clip it until it reaches its desired form. And also, they have to be speedy as the candy cools quickly.
In order to keep the traditional craft alive, Shinri Tezuka opened a store in 2013 known as Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin. It became so successful that he opened another store at the base of Tokyo Skytree. Nowadays, he conducts several workshops centered on the amezaiku art. On the 1st of June 2016, Shinri started releasing his new line-up of sweets consisting of lollipops designed like uchiwa fans with images depicting summer. Some images include dragonflies, hydrangea, morning glory flowers, ocean waves, a warm sun and many more. These items will only be available in both stores until the end of August 2016. It will be followed by an autumn line-up of sweets in the following months.
Cool yourself down this summer by trying out these cute candy crafts in Japan. The images on the lollipops will surely provide some relief from the hot, humid days of summer!