Japanese Sampuru: Where Culinary Art Meets with Business Promotion


When it comes about attraction and craving for foods, forget about the original food served inside the tables of various restaurants. When you are in Japan, you must be allured with the fake foods displaying in the windows and cabinets of the restaurants. A great number of people often mistake those display fake food as the original food. In fact, some of the fake foods look more real than their original dishes. If you are interested to know the world of artificial food prop, let’s have a glance on some of the important aspect of it.

What are display fake foods?

Display fake foods are actually artificial foods in Japan that are popularly known as sampuru (サンプル) and the word has been derived from the original English word sample. Don’t misapprehend it with those sample foods that you are served to take the bite in the restaurants. These Japanese faux food is specially meant for displaying the foods that you cannot eat at all since they are made of plastic and vinyl.

Why did the concept of display foods develop?

Undoubtedly, Japan excels in the art of making display food or fake food. But behind the origin of this fake food, not only the culinary art was involved, the Japanese people had something else in their mind. This art of fake foods was developed with the aim of business purpose. Actually, it aims to offer the food display before the customers in order to help their menu selection process in the Japanese restaurants. In the earlier days, people often face problem to read the menu cards in the restaurants as those were written in the Japanese language. Even some traditional Japanese dishes are there that the ordinary Japanese people are also unable to recognize them. Therefore, to provide an easy solution of this problem, Japanese developed the concept of Japanese display food where the customers can view the menu instead of reading the menu cards. Thus, they can get the idea of the food before placing their order. In fact, these artificial food props play a vital role in the culinary aesthetics of Japanese food culture to increase the sale of the restaurant. It is purely commercial purpose.

Where is the real excellence of Japanese display food?

While going through the Japanese culinary journey, you may be surprised to find out that Japanese sampuru looks at least 10 times more real and perfect than the original foods from where these are replicated. Similarly the cost of these fake foods are at least 20 to 30 times more than the cost of original food dishes that are imitated.

At present, the art of sampuru is considered to be a great traditional art of Japan as people who are engaged in this industry are recognized as the superior craftsmen. They need years of expertise and ultimate artistic skill to make these artistic food replicas. Nowadays artificial food industry has occupied a multi billion yen business in the Japanese food industry. Although China and Korea are considered as, the tough competitor against the Japanese art of artificial foods, but Japan has been greatly maintaining its traditional, perfection and craftsmanship.