If you thought stuffing bubble gum inside a lollipop was the pinnacle of candy creativity, think again. Great Big Story introduces us to Shinri Tezuka, a self-taught candy artist, having to take on the task of mastering the methods of amezaiku himself when he found there was no school left to teach him. The art dates back to the 1600s, Japan’s Edo era. Today only two shops remain in the city of Tokyo, including Tezuka’s.
Not only is amezaiku an ages-old art, it’s also a very quick process. The intricate designs must be made quickly, before the warm candy fully hardens. Each one takes about five minutes to sculpt, the most popular being a goldfish. Part of the beauty of these tiny works of art, as Tezuka points out, is that they’re impermanent. “It’s nothing but a candy, so it’s something that disappears at some point,” he says. “However, I think that gives it a power.” There's definitely something more to these confections than a sugar rush.