The plastic food samples is a food model which displays at entrance of restaurant for presenting of menus in Japan.
In 1923, department store in Tokyo started ordering waxwork craftsman to make the food sample. Those works were displayed at the entrance of restaurant.
The first time, it was to smoothen the movement of the customers. At the entrance, customers choose the menu, plastic food samples. Then, they buy a tickets of food. This system introduction was becoming popular in Japan. Thus, using the plastic food samples is more reasonable and hygienic than displaying real food.
From that way, it becomes possible to make the sample similar to real food.
The current food sample is similar to real and in addition, expression of the food sample is dereism. So it presents the “Momentary expression”.
The representative thing is that explaining ingredients of the inside of the food at the shop. So it shows the cutting part clearly as the model. Also, pulling up noodles with fork or chopsticks are popular expression.
Today, the food sample is not only tool of the marketing at the restaurant or food shop, but also it becomes a work of art, toy and the souvenirs to Japanese and foreigners.
More about Japanese pop culture
http://entabe.jp/news, http://www.timeout.jp, http://iwaisample.exblog.jp/,