Japanese arts and traditions have always raised the brows of us westerners with their intricacy, high demand for patience, and total difference from what we are used to. From the Geishas to handpainted Satsuma buttons, there’s always some unique art to discover.

Amezaiku, the cool art of making cute animal lollipops, has been a Japanese tradition since the 8th century. And now a 26-year-old Shinri Tezuka is the young master making it famous again. There is no cheap or convenient way to mass-produce the candy, and the artists have to endure extreme heat when working the hot sugar syrup by hand.

Shinri is one of the few Amezaiku artists keeping the tradition alive. He opened his shop ‘Ameshin’ in 2013, sells his realistic art confectionery for 1000-2000 yen (8-17 USD), and also offers courses for those interested in learning. The candy is made from sugar syrup and starch along with organic coloring.

More info: ame-shin | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter (h/t: spoon-tamago, foodigity)