Candy So Cute It Feels Like Such a Shame to Eat! We Find Out What It Takes to Create the Japanese Candy “Amezaiku”!

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Have you ever seen Japanese “amezaiku” before? Just like lollipops, amezaiku are cute and colorful, but have one more distinct feature to them that sets them apart. Japanese amezaiku often come in the shape of animals, anime characters, flowers and more, but no matter which one you look at, you’ll notice the sheer amount of detail put into each one. Each one is so finely crafted that you’ll find it hard to believe that they’re actually candy. In Japan, those that craft amezaiku for a living, are called “amezaiku shokunin”.

There is a shop that lets you see the making of amezaiku by amezaiku shokunin, and so our reporters Kumiko Funayama and Hikari Shiina stopped by to check it out! The store they visited is known as “Amezaiku Yoshihara”.

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Kumiko passed hrough the noren (a sign curtain hung at a shop entrance) and immediately after opening the door, she found herself suddenly bursting into a smile! The store was overflowing with adorable amezaiku and the faint sweet fragrance that they gave off was sure to make any customer smile.

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Naturally, you can purchase any of the amezaiku on display, but it is also possible to order the amezaiku of your choice and have it made for you there and then. Kumiko and Hikari requested that the swan-shaped amezaiku be made for them. As the wings have a lot of fine detail to them, this job was performed by a veteran amezaiku shokunin. In what seemed like no time at all, they could see the shape of the swan, and after the shokunin added the eyes and mouth it was completed! The girls were very surprised at how quickly their swans were made. They found out that the longer the amezaiku are left to sit, the harder they get, so any fine details must be added very quickly.

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Next, the girls decided to have a go at making their own amezaiku! As the swans were quite beyond their level, they tried out an animal that was considered better suited to beginners, and they ended up creating rabbits. Despite working away while listening to the professional amezaiku shokunin, things weren’t quite working out for them the way they hoped it would. “Oh no! It’s turned out weird-looking!” and “the candy’s already hardened!”, they cried.

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Hikari couldn’t make the rabbit that she had imagined, so she felt very downhearted.

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These are the two rabbit-shaped candies that they made! Hikari’s looked more like a rabbit monster rather than a real rabbit.

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Both Kumiko and Hikari truly came to understand just how amazing amezaiku shokunin are to be able to so what they do. Apparently it takes them about 10 years of training to become as good as they are. Please be sure to stop by to see their techniques and skills in action if you have the chance. And while you’re at it, if you would like to bring a smile to your family and friends, we highly recommend that you take some amezaiku back home!

Photo by kobadog
Translated by Cheryl Coyle

Information

Amezaiku Yoshihara
Address : 1-23-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station : Sendagi
TEL : 03-6323-3319
URL : http://ame-yoshihara.com/index.html

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