Amezaiku is a dying art form, so if you have never seen it and have no plans to come to Japan soon, be sure to order a few pieces to see the beauty for yourself. Note that because the candy can melt in hot temperatures, it cannot be shipped during the summer months.
Amezaiku, Handmade Candies from Japan
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Most sweets and candies these days are made in factories and come pre-wrapped for sale in supermarkets, convenience stores and big-box stores. But this was not always the case. If you’ve ever been to a festival in Japan, there’s a chance you’ve seen a candy artist swiftly but carefully pulling, stretching, clipping and bending liquid sugar into fantastical shapes before it hardens. This is a Japanese art called amezaiku, and there are only a few dozen artists left in Japan who practice it.
Luckily, there are a few shops were amezaiku candy can be purchased year round. The small, hard candy figures make great gifts for both children and adults, and serve as a wonderful conversation started. Most shapes are modeled after animals or fantasy creatures, and include monkeys, rabbits, dogs, horses, dragons, pandas, parrots, and more. There are also a variety of flower shapes that can be made, and custom candies can be modeled after a photo of customers’ own pets.