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Miyuki: Epcot’s Japanese Candy Artist

This is the season for trick-or-treating, which means candy! And when I think of candy in Disney World, I think of Miyuki Sugimori.

Miyuki the Candy Lady

Miyuki the Candy Lady

About Miyuki and the Japanese Art of Candy Sculpture
Disney only works with the highest-quality artists and entertainers, and that standard remains in tact with this incredible candy artist from from Tokyo. Miyuki learned the craft of candy sculpture from her grandfather — a renowned Japanese candy artist — and is the first and only woman to receive training in Amezaiku in Japan. To date, she is one of only 15 people officially trained in the art.

To see Miyuki perform, simply head over to the Japan pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase to catch one of her shows. Her “stage,” equipped with heating elements to keep the candy pliable and with fans to cool down finished pieces, is located just outside the front entrance of Mitsukoshi department store.

Miyuki's Stage

Miyuki's Stage

Her candy sculptures begin as a ball of hot, malleable rice starch candy — this looks a lot like pulled taffy. Miyuki takes requests from the audience to determine what her sculptures will look like, adds food coloring to the candy ball, and begins stretching, sculpting, and painting the candy to create delicate, detailed works of art. Miyuki then hangs the piece in front of a fan to cool down the hot candy and set the design.

Miyuki mixes edible food coloring into the rice candy

Miyuki mixes edible food coloring into the rice candy

What animal will it be...

What animal will it be...

An Alligator Emerges

An Alligator Emerges

Or A Seahorse Makes its Debut

Or A Seahorse Makes its Debut

Is That A Pink Leopard?

Is That A Pink Leopard?

Most of Miyuki’s sculptures for Epcot visitors are of animals — frogs, swans, snakes, alligators, tigers, elephants, etc. She seems to specialize (or maybe the guests do!) in fantastical creatures — dragons and unicorns are her most requested items. By the way, general protocol is that the person who makes the request for a certain sculpture gets to take that sculpture home as a free souvenir, so be sure to arrive early for Miyuki’s shows so you can be in the front of the “line.”

Miyuki has a wonderful “melodic” way of working that’s hard to portray in pictures, so I wanted to add a couple of videos to this post so that you can get a better idea of what it’s really like to watch her.

Where and When To Find Miyuki at Epcot
You can see Miyuki’s show Sunday-Thursday at 12:55, 2:15, 4:00, 5:05, 6:05 & 6:55pm. To double check times before you go to Disney World, check Steve Soares’ Walt Disney World Entertainment Site. Once you’re in Disney World, grab an Epcot Times Guide for the most up-to-date show times.

Miyuki Sign

To celebrate Miyuki on the web, visit her YouTube page or join the (unofficial, but still fun!) Miyuki Facebook Group.

Have you or your kids received a candy sculpture from Miyuki? Share your stories by leaving a comment below!

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24 Comments

  1. James (Disneynorth) says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t their an older Japanese gentleman that used to do the same thing? Didn’t he have a cart and was a little theatrical?

  2. AJ says:

    This I do not know… Hopefully someone will drop by who can answer that question. Would be cool to know!

  3. Gray says:

    Great profile! Isn’t she amazingly talented? I watched her create a dragon during my last trip. It was just mind-boggling how fast and accurate she is. And she does it all with a smile on her face. She is one of the best shows in Epcot. I did not know her name; thanks for that.

  4. AJ says:

    No problem, Gray. Thanks for the kudos! She truly is amazing, and her show is quite long-running. I read a comment somewhere that she keeps getting younger and younger, and I really think that’s true!

  5. James (Disneynorth) says:

    I found this website of the guy I was thinking of: http://www.masajicandyman.net/

    He wasn’t as old as I thought he was…..

  6. AJ says:

    James, that’s cool! I’ve never seen him. I wonder where/when he performs.

  7. James (Disneynorth) says:

    AJ, I’m guessing Miyuki replaced him. Too bad as I can remember him being entertaining…

  8. AJ says:

    Ah…I see. Thanks for the info, James.

  9. Watch Me Eat says:

    Strange, I never remember seeing Miyuki making the candy. I remember seeing a man making the candy on multiple occasions, probably who James mentioned, but never Miyuki. Maybe it just shows that I haven’t been to Epcot lately…

  10. AJ says:

    WME — You must to go Epcot!

    I’m intrigued by this other guy — I’d never ever seen him!

  11. [...] AJ at The Disney Food Blog has a great review of Animal Kingdom’s latest dining option, Picnic in the Park, as well as a look at Miyuki, Epcot’s Japanese Candy Artist. [...]

  12. Alex says:

    This is a rather old post but I thought I would comment on it for other people who randomly stubble upon this post as well:

    I remember the older gentleman from when I was small, I should dig around in the pictures my parents have from Disney because I am fairly certain there is a picture of me with him and a creation he had made for me (an…ehem, very sophisticated creation, a princess ballerina cat holding a dinosaur….)

  13. AJ says:

    Alex, since James mentioned him, I’ve seen photos of the older gentleman as well. I wish I could have seen his work. Especially if he made things like princess ballerina cats holding dinosaurs. That’s quite an interesting display of talent. Is that what you requested, or was that his invention?

    Thanks for reading and commenting,
    AJ

  14. Chelsea says:

    i was there january 21st and i went to every one of her shows, and at one of her last shows, she picked me and made me a beautiful grey wolf. I didn’t eat it until today, i was too busy taking pictures of it.

  15. AJ says:

    Chelsea, I think I’d do the same! Would love to see some of the pics!

  16. intrep93 says:

    My kids each got a sculpture – a dragon and a unicorn. A word of advice – take pix right away. We were very glad we did as one of them was broken by then of a day of being carted around Epcot!! Had heard several years ago that the lady we saw was nearing retirement and was training her daughter to take over. Wonder which one this is!?!?

  17. Lynn Nguyen says:

    Does anyone know what happen we were there at the End of Jan and she was keeping the art? Selling it to Make a Wish is what someone told us? We felt sad we wanted the Dog she made for my daughter to join her Rooster. It is an amazing art.

  18. AJ says:

    intrep — Great point! Pix are definitely in order!

    Lynn — Yep; she’s not allowed to give the candy away anymore :-(

  19. Mary says:

    When we saw Miyuki in June of 2012 she was no longer allowing visitors to take the candy. Instead, she is donating her finished pieces to a local children’s hospital. I think it’s a great use of the candy, and you don’t have visitors competing to get to the front of the “line.”

  20. tiffany beever says:

    ( I show u how to make) LOL… We love her, very talented. We just saw her this week!!

  21. Elle B. says:

    I saw her doing that when i was there years ago. I never knew what that art was called or how you did it until today. I have tried so many ways to recreate the candy clay. Only today did I learn that it is in fact a starch syrup that is heated over coals to about 190 degrees farenheit to make it pliable. The artist must manipulate it very quickly, usually in 5 minutes or less before it hardens again. I can’t imagine touching something as hot as scalding coffe with my bare hands and being able to turn it in to something so beautiful in 3 minutes flat. She’s amaing!

  22. Anna Yetman says:

    Actually I have heard that she does not give out her candy anymore because of the health department. But I’m not exactly sure about that yet. I would double check with some other people to.

  23. JRG Indy says:

    In January 2013, Miyuki told us that she gives the candy away to hospitalized children.

  24. Ashley says:

    I have read some of the more recent comments about this, but does anyone know if they sell any of the candy she makes that is pre-made, or is all she has are the ones that she makes in front of everyone? My husband and I are taking our daughters in August of next year and we would love to buy some of these as souvenir gifts for them and our family. Thanks in advance!

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