Junichi Mitsubori is a world-famous wagashi master, a third-generation wagashi artisan of traditional Japanese sweets store Izumiya (いづみや) and the director of the Association of Japanese Sweets. He was born in Yokosuka, Kanagawa in 1974. In 1995, he graduated from the Seika Sweets College in Tokyo. Mitsubori first gained attention when he won TV Tokyo’s “TV Champion R” dessert artisan competition in 2010 but his popularity grew when he initiated a daily photo project on Instagram called “Wagashi of the Day” in 2015 to promote his preferred style "Nerikiri" work to a wider, younger audience. The image-centric platform became the perfect stage for Mitsubori’s elaborate creations, and the number of his followers has now reached over 300,000.
Mitsubori turns wagashi presentation into a new art form. In 2016, he founded his own school Kado Ichikaryu. Kado (way of wagashi), a term that echoes the meticulous care and preparation involved in Chado (way of tea), uses bespoke utensils and calculated gestures to produce a highly stylized wagashi experience. Sophisticated wagashi like Nerikiri originated were naturally produced by artisans’ hands, the wagashi are perfect not only in appearance but also in taste.
To Mitsubori, the beauty of the performance is as crucial to Kado as the artistry of the dessert itself. He is currently performing and teaching Kado overseas. As a master of Kado, Mitsubori does not merely make food. He rather wants the audience to appreciate the performance and his subtle movements. You can see more of Mitsubori's works on his Instagram page. https://www.instagram.com/junichi_mitsubori/