It's time for a story!
I used to travel to Orlando, Florida with my family every year (specifically to go to Disney World and Universal Studios) From when I was a baby to about 2018, so over 20 years of Disney vacations! It was my dad's favourite place to go, so he always worked late and long shifts to ensure that we would have 1 Disney trip minimum each year. Sometimes we got lucky and would be able to go twice! We used to drive and take a road trip there, but my dad wuld usually be very excited and would drive straight there. The drive was about 21/22 hours long.....so you could imagine we tried to make several pit stops! Eventually we just started flying there because the drive was too long for our excitement!
In the park called Epcot, there is something called the World Showcase, where you can travel the world in just 1 day! Haha well, specifically, they had pavilions of several countries where you can learn about them, enjoy food, and shop! The Japan pavilion helped me learn about Japan and helped to boost my interest in Japanese culture! I was just getting into anime in 2008, so at that time, I really started scoping the shop for cool merchandise.
(Japan in Florida! Photo credit to DisneyPhoto.net)
But one thing specifically was the candy artist named Miyuki, who would have a little performance every few hours at the Japan pavilion. My family and I would wait probably 1 hour earlier than her performance time to secure our spot right in front of her cart in hopes we could get a candy from her! What did she do? She would get a ball of hot, taffy-like candy and then shape it into different things! She would use big gestures and motions to keep everyone entertained while she turned the little ball into a dog, cat, dolphin, dragon....ect. ect.! The candy would harden soon after she took it out of her pot, so she always worked swiftly with grace. After some years, she stopped doing her shows in Epcot. For my family nd I, we figured she moved on to doing other things in her life. (Photo above credit of DisneyFoodBlog)
(Beautiful candy made by Miyuki!)
I have unearthed these photos from 2008 (...yea...that's me...in 2008. I was 14 years old YIKES! LOL) as I held the little turtle candy I got to request. My sister and I were lucky enough to get picked a few times in some of the years we went! I think we got around 5 or 6 candies together.
NOW, FAST FORWARD TO 2023:
Recently, Sebastian Masuda opened up his restaurant in New York City called SUSHIDELIC, June 2023. I was keeping up with all the social media updates in hopes that I can go sometime!! I have a few friends who live in NYC, so I was also asking them if they had the chance to go!
As I saw the opening day photos, I was so excited to see a friend of mine went to the opening launch party. As I looked through some photos and stories, I noticed someone holding lollipops with Sebastian Masuda's face on it! I wondered where those came from, so I clicked on the account that was tagged. I guess you may know where this story is going now, but it turned out it was Miyuki the candy artist!!!!
I said to myself "NO WAY" and told my mom and sister immediately that I've discovered Miyuki's candy art again!
(Clips from Miyuki's video from the opening party!)
Me being me, I sent her a message to let her know that my family and I used to watch her all those years back and I was excited to find her Instagram account. I also sent her the above photos as I thought it would be a nice memory for her too! She sent me a message back, happy to hear from me. I had told her I would love to do some sort of collaboration some day and she was very interested. Since we live quite some distance apart, it wouldn't be easy to collaborate, as sending candy though mail might not be easy. BUT WE MADE IT WORK!
We exchanged our creativity! I sent her some GHOST GiRL GOODS products and in exchange, she created some custom GHOST GiRL candies! Better yet, she was able to send it to me while I was in Chicago for Anime Magic! 2023. It was fun opening the package while at the con.
I happily received this special package and opened it right away! I was excited to also receive photos of Miyuki wearing the items I sent her!
It's just one of those situations where you never think something would happen and then it does! This was also a nice way for me to reminisce in the nice memories I had with my dad while on our family vacations. Travelling to Disney World doesn't feel the same lately without my dad there, so I think I still need some time. (I've gone twice since he's passed) But I want to return and make new memories when I am ready!
To end on a happy note, I hope that Miyuki and I can work together on a bigger and in-person collaboration in the future! Even these mini collaborations are so much fun for me because I love to see how people can have fun with GHOST GiRL!
Be sure to follow Miyuki and check out all the wonderful candy art she makes!