In pursuit of food replicas that look even more "real" than the real thing
Food replicas were originally used as models to simply show what food looked like. However, over time, food replicas evolved into a sales promotion tool to instantaneously convey the appeal of a product to the customer. The needs of our clients have also grown more diverse over time.
At Iwasaki Mokei, our idea of the ideal food replica is not a replica that simply looks exactly like the original. Creating a simple copy of the original product doesn't allow us to fully convey the original appeal of the product.
To convey the delicious taste of the food, we consider a wide range of details, from the lighting inside the show window to the angle of the replica. We make sure to pay attention to the finishing touches to create a product that goes above and beyond.
The replicas we create express the delicious taste of the food when they are displayed in the show window. Our replicas are more than just copies of the food's appearance. Our replicas are a snapshot of the food at its most delicious moment. Our replicas look even more real than the real thing.
This is the kind of food replica we aim to create.
The father of food replicas
Takizo Iwasaki, the world's leading expert on food replicas, was born in Gujo Hachiman and successfully started a food replica business in Osaka in 1932. Takizo felt a deep love for his hometown Hachiman, and opened his Gifu factory in 1955, making great contributions to education and welfare in the local community. Today, the hometown of food replicas hosts many artisans working in the food replica industry.
The origin of food replicas can be found in the story of how Takizo Iwasaki saw a drop of wax fall upon the surface of a pool of water.
One day when he was a child, Takizo Iwasaki was trying to light a candle, when he saw a drop of melted wax fall into a puddle and form a shape that looked like a white flower. That simple naturally-formed image of the drop of wax, resembling a dainty plum blossom petal, left a deep impression on young Takizo's mind.
Our first replica
Several years passed after Takizo saw the plum blossom. In 1931, at the age of 27, Takizo first encountered food replicas as a type of educational material.
At that time, food replicas were still called food models or cooking models. Food replicas had not been commercialized yet. The encounter brought back memories of the wax flower he had seen as a child. From then on, Takizo's interest in wax grew and grew, until he decided to start a business making food replicas. At that time, cafeteria show windows were still very rare, and food models displayed in front of stores were still very primitive. However, Takizo believed that there was great market potential for elaborate food replicas.
Takizo worked on creating prototypes of food replicas, overcoming many failed attempts. Finally, he succeeded in creating his first replica. Takizo named this elaborately executed omelet "The Commemorative Omelet". This was the first step down the path towards the food replicas we have today.
A new part of Japanese culture
After completing "The Commemorative Omelet", Takizo established the Iwasaki factory in 1932. Through his advanced manufacturing techniques and his unique rental system service, Takizo increased the product value of his food replicas and spread his replicas throughout Japan.
Later on, Takizo opened the Gifu factory in 1955 to contribute to education and welfare in the local community of Gujo Hachiman, his beloved hometown. In 1963, he changed the name of his company to Iwasaki Mokei Seizo Co., Ltd., and thought about how to contribute to the local community even further. Today, Iwasaki Group contains branches and sales offices throughout Japan, including Iwasaki Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Osaka) and Iwasaki Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Tokyo).
The deep passion for food replicas fostered by Takizo Iwasaki, the founder of food replicas from Gujo Hachiman, is being passed down to the young generation in his hometown. Gujo City is home to a large number of food replica companies founded by people who formerly worked in the Iwasaki Group. The food replica industry has become deeply rooted in the local community as a local industry. Gujo City is now widely known as the city of food replicas.
Iwasaki Mokei Seizo Co., Ltd. has found new uses for its historic replica creation techniques and has built a facility where members of the general public can easily partake in creating food replicas in Gujo Hachiman, the hometown of food replicas. This is the origin of Sample Village Iwasaki. We hope you will have fun creating food replicas that look like the real thing and enjoy experiencing a new facet of Japanese culture.