The Candyman, Shan Ichiyanagai
The Candyman, Shan Ichiyanagai (Traditional Japanese candy sculpture)
Long time Matsuri performer and crowd favorite Shan Ichiyanagai, better known as The Candyman is one of 12 people in the world who practice the art of Amezaiku, the art of candy crafting.
Shinobu “Shan” Ichiyanagi also known as "CANDYMAN" is a master Amezaiku or candy sculpture artist. The Candyman is one of 12 people in the world who practice the art of Amezaiku . As a party and event entertainer, he specializes in sculpting hot taffy-like candy into fantastic animals and objects using a palette of gemstone inspired candy colors. This traditional ancient Japanese folk art that originated in China has been practiced for over a 1000 years in Japan. His big fans call him as a ”Shan The Candyman"
Watch the Candyman in action via the videos below.
A Japanese candy craft artistry. An artist takes multi-colored mizuame and, using their hands and other tools such as tweezers and scissors, creates a sculpture. Amezaiku artists also paint their sculpted candy with edible dyes to give the finished work more character. Animals and insects are common amezaiku shapes created to appeal to children. Intricate animal characters are created with expert speed. Some amezaiku artists are also street performers who perform magic tricks and tell stories along with their candy craft entertainment.
During the Heian period, the art of amezaiku was used in Japan for candy offerings made at temples in Kyoto. The amezaiku craft spread beyond the temple during the Edo period, when many forms of street performance flourished in Japan and when its base ingredient, mizuame, became widely available. In Edo it emerged in its present artistic form