Meet Shinri Tezuka an artist extraordinaire and self-proclaimed candy goldsmith from Asakusa, Japan. Tezuka is known for crafting works of art out of sugar, an ode to the ancient Japanese art of amezaiku.
Legend has it that amezaiku was created during the 8th century. It gained popularity during the 17th century when artisans began displaying their talents and candies on the streets.
Amezaiku is a generational artform that is taught by the elders. However, there are no books dedicated to the artform so many people do not understand how it is done.
Amezaiku involves heat, scissors, and talent. Artisans heat taffy to 90 degrees Celsius before sculpting it. They use specialty scissors, tweezers, and their bare hands to shape the candy into the magical figurines they create.
Shinri was born in 1989 and has been working in amezaiku for the majority of his life. He spent time traveling the country to perform until he decided to open his store, Ameshin, in Asakusa, Japan in 2013.
He now has 7 “disciples” that perform amezaiku and he continues to do product demonstrations and creations.
The store has grown from one location to three all over Tokyo. He also ships candy from the store all over the world.
He also provides classes for people eager to learn the art of amezaiku. Students can learn directly from Tezuka how to craft their own amezaiku creations.
If stored properly, these candies can last for several years.