Japanese Sugar Sculpting Demonstration by TEZUKA Shinri-Japan House London

Amezaiku is the centuries-old Japanese craft of sculpting sugar into intricate works of edible art. For the amezaiku craftsman, speed and precision are key: sugar paste is heated until soft and pliable, and then quickly and finely crafted into shape by hand and with special U-shaped Japanese scissors (nigiri-basami) before the mixture cools and hardens again.

This March, join us at Japan House for a rare opportunity to witness this spectacle with a demonstration and talk by one of Japan’s finest contemporary amezaiku artists, TEZUKA Shinri, founder of the Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin collective.

Said to have originated in 8th-century Japan, the craft of amezaiku flourished in the Edo period (1603-1868) as a form of street performance. Since then its techniques have been passed down from generation to generation, but over time the number of practitioners has dwindled.

As one of the few remaining amezaiku craftsmen in Japan, Tezuka Shinri is dedicated to revitalizing the practice through the work of Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin, not only by preserving its time-honoured traditions, but also by bringing innovation to the artform.

About Tezuka Shinri:

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Tezuka Shinri is founder and president of Tezuka Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd., and leader of the amezaiku artist collective, Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin. Born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, in 1989, Tezuka developed an interest in moulding and sculpting from an early age. After pursuing an early career as a fireworks technician, he taught himself sugar sculpting, and from 2010 he began travelling across Japan as Amezaiku Ameshin, holding exhibitions and workshops as well as making personalised amezaiku sculptures to order. In 2013 he established his first shop in Asakusa, Tokyo, ‘Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin’. In 2015 a second store was opened inside the Tokyo Skytree Town, Solamach. In recent years his work has expanded to performing overseas and also to supervising the development of his nine apprentices.

This event is held in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in the UK and Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin.

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Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020 at Japan House London