Young Japanese artist crafts exquisite animal-shaped candy at his shop in Asakusa (Tokyo)

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RocketNews 24:

Japan sure knows how to elevate its food to an unparalleled level of art, and today we’d like to introduce you to the works of another master Japanese craftsman of sweets. His life’s passion is creating exquisitely detailed animal-shaped candy, which are so astoundingly intricate that it probably won’t be long before a museum asks to put them on display!

Shinri Tezuka is the artist behind these incredible edible creations. Born in 1989 in Chiba Prefecture, Tezuka states that he loved to sculpt anything he could get his hands on from a very young age. That childhood passion translated into a full-time career for him, and he now spends his days traveling across Japan to participate in all sorts of events and parties, and also offers hands-on workshops to teach people of all ages about his craft. As a result of these expeditions, he’s been featured on numerous Japanese television shows to date. And get this–despite being only 25, he’s already taken on three apprentices who are eager to carry on his tradition!

▼ Shinri Tezuka, the man behind the craft

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Since 2013, Tezuka has also overseen his own shop called Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin (amezaiku refers to the art of making candy into human and animal-shaped forms). The shop is fittingly located in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa district, only a short walk away from the popular tourist destination of Senso-ji Temple.

▼ Exterior and interior views of the shop

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While browsing through some of his breathtaking creations, it’s easy to forget that they are indeed candy and are meant to be eaten. In fact, some people find the distinction between the art and food so fine that one of the questions in the Q&A section of Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin’s official site asks, “Can I really eat this candy?”

The answer is a resounding “yes,” by the way. In addition, Tezuka uses only naturally occurring dyes to color his creations, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re not eating any artificial pigments.

Let’s take a look at some of his animal-shaped candy creations now:

▼ The caption says that these goldfish are the two most popular designs among shop customers.

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▼ These gorgeous cranes were crafted using real gold leaf on their wings.

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▼ Here are some candy creations crafted in Tezuka’s Asakusa studio…

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▼ …and here are some he created at various public demonstrations.

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Tezuka does take orders for customized candy creations at his shop, but he is unable to accept requests for popular characters due to copyright laws. Guess we’ll just have to wait and hope for a deal to come through with Nintendo so that we can see Tezuka’s version of Pikachu in candy form!

Shop information
Ameshin / アメシン
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Imado 1-4-3, 1st floor
東京都台東区今戸1-4-3 1F
Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Closed Thursdays
Website

Japanese design firm Nendo has crafted art out of chocolates

Recently named “M&O’s Designer of the Year,” Japanese firm Nendo has created nine pieces of chocolate art to furnish a lounge it designed for the furniture and design show Maison&Objet. The creations look more like miniature sculptures than confectionaries, with each one measuring the same dimensions at 26 x 26 x 26mm. Each one takes on a different shape with distinctive textures, such as hollow centered cubes, pointed tips, smooth and rough surfaces, each corresponding to a Japanese expression — for example, “zara-zara” has a rough, file-like surface whereas “poki-poki” is an Escher-esque box frame.

The composition of ingredients for all nine designs, meanwhile, remain identical. The chocolates are being produced in a limited quantity of 400 hundred sets and will be available to guests at the Nendo lounge at Maison&Objet from January 23 to 27.

A delicious way to celebrate the Year of the Sheep — cute sheep bread!

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RocketNews 24:

As we follow the Chinese zodiac here in Japan, we too are celebrating the Year of the Sheep this year. Not surprisingly, that means we’ve seen an abundance of sheep-themed products for the New Year, including some in edible form. Famous bakery chain DONQ is just one of the many companies that offered such sheep-related food items, and their selection of sheep breads was so cute, we simply had to share them with you. Just take a look at the pictures, and we think they’ll get you in the mood to start off the Year of the Sheep in good cheer!

Headquartered in the city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, DONQ has been in business for nearly 110 years, with over 120 stores across Japan. Befitting a chain spread across the country, they sold a variety of sheep-shaped breads in different areas of Japan over the New Year’s holiday, and while they’ve now finished selling these breads, the different creative designs certainly make for entertaining viewing. So, here are pictures of the baked sheep goodies from DONQ according to the area where they were sold:

●Hokkaido Area: “Fluffy Lamb Bread” and  “Happy Red and White Sheep Bread Set
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The set of two sheep breads in the center, done in the traditionally lucky colors of red and white, contained strawberry cream cheese and custard cream respectively, and was priced at 389 yen (US$3.25). The slightly smaller white “lamb” breads surrounding the red and white sheep contained custard cream and sold for 260 yen ($2.16)

●Kanto Area: “Chinese Zodiac (Eto) Bread Sheep
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These fellas, who look like they’re sleeping blissfully, were melon breads filled with custard cream and cost 281 yen ($2.35) each.

●Tokai Area:  “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)
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These cute sheep-year breads with googly eyes were made from melon bread and priced at 238 yen ($1.99).

●Kyoto/Hokuriku Area: “Fluffy Sheep
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These soft-looking sheep breads were filled with chocolate cream inside and sold for 303  yen ($2.53).

●Kobe Area: “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)” and “Osechi Cuisine Bread
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In the front here we have smiling sheep breads that were filled with chocolate cream, priced at 238 yen ($1.99). The set of New Year’s osechi cuisine-themed breads in the back cost 562 yen ($4.70) and included snapper-shaped bread containing custard cream, melon bread in the shape of a traditional hagoita wooden paddle, crispy prawn crackers and bread filled with chestnut and sweet potato paste.

●Chugoku/Shikoku Area: “Mr./Ms. Sheep 
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These sheep shaped creations contained custard cream and sold for 281 yen ($2.35). The chocolate legs look precious!

●Kyushu Area: “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)
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These adorable round sheep with a white cookie-like surface were priced at 281 yen ($2.35).

There were also two beautiful sheep breads from Johan, another bakery chain belonging to the DONQ group:

● (Johan) Kanto Area: “The Dream Pursuing Sheep 2015
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This artistic bread was made from a cocoa flavored base bread filled with raspberry jam and chocolate cream and was priced at 260 yen ($2.18).

●(Johan) Nagoya Area: Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)
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And the last of the sheep breads from the DONQ group this year is this soft-looking creation filled with custard cream, which sold for 260 yen ($2.18).

So what did you think of all the darling little sheep in baked and edible form? They look absolutely sweet, and judging from the descriptions with all those custard and chocolate creams, we’re sure they tasted plenty sweet too. The time for New Year’s bread may be over for this year, but we’ll certainly be looking forward to lovely zodiac breads from DONQ again next year, when it will be the Year of the Monkey. Until then, we wish you a splendid Year of the Sheep!

Totoro Creampuffs!

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FoodBeast:

These Totoro Creampuffs are from Shiro Hige, a cream puff factory out of Tokyo that doesn’t fare well when hit with Google Translate.

The important thing is blogger and published author Stephanie Le captured their beauty for the world to see. Pictured are a couple of puffs filled with chestnut custard creme and the other is vanilla.

If you don’t live anywhere near Tokyo and you’re interested in making your own, BentoMonsters.com has an almost-as-cute recipe.

Artist Profile: Adorable illlustrations made with everyday objects by Hyemi Jeong

Adorable Illustrations Made With Everyday Objects by Hyemi Jeong

 

Laughing Squid:

 

Korean artist Hyemi Jeong uses everyday objects like jelly beans and band-aids to create adorable illustrations. More illustrations are available on her Instagram account.

 

 

Adorable Illustrations Made With Everyday Objects by Hyemi Jeong

Adorable Illustrations Made With Everyday Objects by Hyemi Jeong

Adorable Illustrations Made With Everyday Objects by Hyemi Jeong

Adorable Illustrations Made With Everyday Objects by Hyemi Jeong

 

 

photos by Hyemi Jeong