08 August 2011

Japanese fantasy creations

There is something to be said for watching a piece of art being created right before your very eyes. It is also rather special to watch a delicious meal or recipe take shape as you watch. Then again, if you could wrap both up in a single package, that’d be pretty amazing in and of itself, wouldn’t it? As it turns out you can watch as food becomes art in World Showcase’s Japan.Appearing several times a day, Miyuki rolls her cart out to just in front of Mitsukoshi to create incredible works of art. As she prepares her space, it is worth taking note of the instruments she uses to create the animals known as Japanese Fantasy Creations. Once she begins working, her hands and implements will move about in such a flurry that you will be marveling more at the creatures coming to life than how they are being shaped. Though, fair warning, while these sugary treats look good enough to eat, although who would want to, they are intended only for display, not consumption.

Miyuki herself is a masterful presenter. Each show offers insight into how the art form came about, stories of the creatures being molded, and engaged the guests, especially those younger guests who are truly in awe of the art. Perhaps the most unique portion of the show, however, is Miyuki herself. Though she would never boast, Miyuki is the only woman in the world trained in the art of candy sculpting. Her expertise and devotion to her craft shines through in each show and each piece she creates. Consider the fact that the rice dough is hotter than either you or I could likely handle, in upwards of 200 degrees, and how quickly she molds a new animal, and her skill is something to simply admire.I used to, okay I still do, watch The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. Watching the mountains and trees of his landscapes has always caused me to relax and feel a warm fuzzy sensation from my hair to my pinky toe. I’ve probably lost a lot of you in the last few lines, but all of that was to say the same calming feeling I’ve gathered from watching Bob Ross is the same sensation that washes over me in the few minutes I get to watch Miyuki on each trip.

Once upon a time, Miyuki would hand out her creature creations to children in the crowd, though her cart contains the warning that the figures were for display not digestion, this practice was stopped in 2010. While the general consensus is that this was done for to meet health and sanitation guidelines, there are rumblings that the custom was discontinued due to grumblings from parents whose children did not receive a sculpture.Even without the prospect of a free souvenir, as a currently childless adult there is no chance that I would receive one of this incredible pieces, I still make sure I catch at least one viewing of Miyuki during each visit. Candy sculpting is not an easy craft to perfect, but Miyuki has done so, and presents each figure with grace and ease. Taking pause in Japan has never been sweeter, or more rewarding.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And her rhythmic chanting....listening to her chant in time with her deft movements is what I find particularly entrancing. Even if I wasn't planning to stay for the whole show, the strains of "show you how to make, only one minute" pulls me in every time. That and seeing what crazy animals people try to come up with to stump her. So far, I've only seen her decline making a platypus. She is truly amazing.