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  • Writer's pictureZukku Sushi

Is sushi art? These stone nigiri sculptures definitely are.

Sushi is considered a true artform in Japanese culture. The colors, textures and presentation of sushi equally as important as the taste. Achieving proper balance through the harmonious arrangement of each ingredient is critical.

The idea of sushi as art is part of why Zukku is named Zukku. The name of our restaurant translates loosely to cloth, or more specifically in our case, canvas – the idea being that at Zukku, the rice is your canvas to create your masterpiece bowl or sushi burrito. Or you can let us be the artist and choose from our curated menu.

This week, it was a different yet similarly beautiful type of sushi art that caught our attention in the form of a collection of stone sushi sculptures created by the young Japanese artist Hama, whose full name is Mari Hamahira.

From rough slabs of stone, Hama carves delicious-looking slabs of fish, rectangles of rice, textured rolls of nori and colorful dollops of wasabi and roe, preserving the perfectly balanced form of their sushi forever.

Hama is a graduating senior at Japan’s Joshibi University of Art and Design. Hama's sculptures were recently shown in a gallery at Tokyo's National Art Center as part of a joint graduation exhibition of five art universities there. The stone nigiri went viral recently after Hama tweeted out the sculptures that look more than good enough to eat.

, no paints or artificial coloring of any kind was used in the sculptures, meaning the colors come entirely from the material’s natural pigments, coaxed out in some cases through smoothing and polishing.

If you look closely, you’ll see that a few of the pieces feature human parts – a pair of lips, or a nose – which the artist, who previously worked in the seafood industry, has said was an artful reminder that food comes from life and everyone “should do our part to combat food waste.”

Photos courtesy of Mari Hamahira

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