Tag Archives: science sushi

The Art and Science of Sushi

Laurie and Debbie say:

We’ve all had the experience of looking at a beautiful display of sushi, in a window or in a photograph or on a tray at our table, and feeling like we’re in the presence of art. And, in a sense, we often are: Japanese sushi chefs pride themselves on the beauty of their sushi, and the best of them make extraordinarily beautiful displays.

Sushi art goes one step further. Johnny at Spoon and Tamago explains:

Based in Tokyo, Takayo Kiyota is a self-proclaimed illustrator and makizushi artist who goes by the name Tama-chan. What exactly is a makizushi artist, you might wonder? Well have a look below. Tama-chan lays her ingredients just so, visualizing in her head how the cross-section – her creation – will look once cut.

“I never know what the inside looks like so I’m never sure if it will come out the way I imagined. And I can’t make edits once it’s done,” writes Tama-chan. “Facial expressions are especially difficult because small ingredients or overly exerted force when wrapping can completely throw things off. It’s always a special moment when I make the first incision to reveal the image.”

While much of Tama-chan’s sushi is either fanciful (mermaids, demons) or working with the familiar (famous paintings, everyday logos), we were charmed by her light-hearted take on naked men. Keep reading to see her amazing scientific sushi.


Without taking away from the sheer whimsy of these men, we can’t help but notice that: they are visually diverse, they are not sexualized, and they are rare examples of male nudity used to convey charm and silliness. Our experience in Japan in the late 1990s through middle 2000s was that there was a lot of unwillingness to show penises: things may have changed, or sushi art may be different than paintings or photographs, but there’s probably still some element of transgression in Tama-chan’s choice of subject here.

Her tour de force (of what we’ve seen) is this roll which, depending on where you cut it, takes you through the developmental cycle of an embryo.



It’s art. It’s science. It’s sushi. It’s delightful.

Thanks to Robbie Gonzalez at io9 for discovering these.