Amezaiku Candy Animals Origin

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A candy puller made an offering at the completion of the temple To-ji which was built when the capital was moved from Nara to Kyoto. As one source from the 8th century has it. And that is the origin of Amezaiku. Amezaiku comes from the words Ame- Candy,and Zaiku- Handicraft. Simply ,the traditional art of making candy animals. Once was common street entertainment but now only a few have held on to this tradition. Take a walk in the streets of Japan and you will find that running into an artisan will be quite difficult. The few that have remained are mostly hired for private parties or own individual stores. JUST IMAGINESummer in Japan, say in 1960. You locate one artisan by a group of chatty school children with wide straw hats. "Make a Bird!",…show more content…
Thereafter, a hand pump is used to shape. Some unfinished pieces may be hang upside down until the candy hardens. Now you can enjoy your animal candy. The amezaiku stays up to a month without melting.As you can see the work is painful but rewarding. The artist's hands are scalded as he quickly shapes the hot candy and the tiny pair of scissors is dangerously sharp. The watery candy should be at 176F and it hardens within 180 seconds. The artist or Amezaiku Shakunin must not hesitate and he learns to handle the candy without burning himself.The other challenge is that the candy is delicate and must be handled differently according to the weather, season and temperature. If candy is too soft it will be difficult to shape on the other hand if it is too hard it will harden faster and there will be no time to shape it.Thanks to the few "Ameizaiku Shakunin" still producing these Japanese candies, you and I can get to enjoy them too. Each artist's work is unique. Yes, they copy the things they learnt from the person who taught them but as they progress they begin to think, " What if I add this here?" And their style changes. Observe, no two artists craft the

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