• Sampuru are an iconic part of Japanese food culture (Google)
It looks good enough to eat but annoyingly, you can't.
Bianca Soldani

12 Sep 2016 - 3:49 PM  UPDATED 12 Sep 2016 - 3:51 PM

It’s hard to turn your head in Japan without coming across a sampuru. They’re those very realistic-looking models of food that have you salivating the moment you walk into a restaurant.

They’ve also taken over the Internet today with a Google doodle dedicated to a man who re-invented them, Takizo Iwasaki.

September 12 of this year, marks what would have been Iwasaki's 121st birthday.



Iwasaki started out in the trade of sampuru back in the 1930s and is credited for making it into big business after founding his company Iwasaki-bei, which is still producing models today. He originally crafted his designs out of wax to make them as life-like as possible, capitalising on the country’s appreciation for food aesthetics.

Today, the majority of food models are plastic but the trade has by no means become mass produced. Instead, models are largely done by hand and made to order to satisfy the individual needs of a certain restaurant.


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