Google has celebrated the 121st birthday of the man who made plastic food big in Japan, Takizo Iwasaki.


It’s hard to imagine the same kind of food staying in restaurant windows since the 1930s.

But the Japanese art of sampuru — creating life-like food out of wax, plastic or vinyl for restaurant windows — has been practised in Japan for almost a century. And Google is celebrating the birthday of the man who made it famous.

September 12 would have been the 121st birthday of Takizo Iwasaki, the man who made a real business out of fake food. To celebrate, the Google logo has been reworked into plates of Japanese food that look good enough to eat.

The art of making sampuru had been around for over a decade when Iwasaki reworked it, making an omelette out of wax that was so realistic, even his wife couldn’t tell it was a fake.

Sampuru is still largely made by hand (and it’s mesmerising!), but things have shifted towards plastic and vinyl in recent years because it lasts longer than wax. But you can still see the original omelette in Iwasaki’s home prefecture of Gifu, where Google wisely tells us most of the world’s replica food is still made. An omelette even made its way into today’s Google Doodle.

But what really impressed us is how six dishes so perfectly trick your mind into seeing the Google logo. You could almost say it looks like the real thing.

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​Fake plastic cheese: Google Doodle celebrates invention of inedible food – CNET