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Takizo Iwasaki

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Takizo Iwasaki (岩崎 瀧三, Iwasaki Takizō) (September 12, 1895 - 1965) was a Japanese businessman who is credited with the invention of "shokuhin sampuru", the plastic models of menu items commonly displayed in restaurant street-front windows in Japan.[1][2]


Iwasaki was born in Gujo Hachiman Japan on September 12, 1895.[3] He is said to have been inspired to create his first shokuhin sampuru after seeing drops of candle wax forming on the tatami mat floor of his apartment.[4] After many months of trial and error, Iwasaki was able to produce a fake omelette, complete with simulated tomato sauce, that his wife thought was real on first glance.[2] In 1932, his fake omelette was used in a display at a department store in Osaka.[2]

He later opened a company called Iwasaki Be-I Co., Ltd., in Gujo Hachiman, his hometown. The company still enjoys a large share, an estimated 60% of the Japanese market for shokuhin sampuru,[5] and the town of Gujo Hachiman is now known as the food replica capital of the Japan.[5][4]

Iwasaki was featured as a Google Doodle on 12 September 2016.[6]


  1. ^ Billock, Jennifer (August 4, 2016). "Japan's Most Mouthwatering Dishes Are Made of Plastic". Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c McCurry, Justin (3 March 2018). "'Looks good enough to eat': inside the home of Japan's fake food industry". the Guardian.
  3. ^ "The father of Japanese faux food would've turned 121 today". kitchen.nine.com.au.
  4. ^ a b "A Visit to Japan's Fake Food Capital". 1 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Japanese food samples: Look so good you could eat them". 20 September 2016 – via Japan Times Online.
  6. ^ Soldani, Bianca (12 September 2016). "Wondering what today's Google doodle is about?". Food Network (Australia). Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 12 September 2016.