Each one is a treat for the eyes and the taste buds using fresh fish bought near Japan’s Seto Inland Sea.

Presentation is a critical part of fine dining in Japan, and one of the most impressive techniques is called “tsurumori.” A combination of the words tsuru (“crane”) and mori (“arrangement”), tsurumori is done with sashimi, with the chef arranging the white slices of fish in the shape of a crane unfurling its wings.

However, one day Japanese Instagram user mikyou (@mikyoui00) started out intending to do some tsurumori, but ended up instead arranging the sashimi into the shape of a young woman instead. That got him wondering what else he could do with this largely untapped artistic medium, and now he regularly shares photos of his jaw-dropping sashimi art creations.

The graceful lines of the sashimi slices lend themselves well to billowy fashions and flowing hair, and princesses, of both the Disney and warrior variety, appear regularly in mikyou’s work.

▼ Ariel and Jasmine

While you might expect someone with so obvious an appreciation for seafood to get all of their ingredients at a pricey specialty market, mikyou says he just picks up his sashimi at his local grocery store in Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime Prefecture. Being on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea means that there’s always a supply of delicious, fresh fish at reasonable prices, and though he makes extensive use of sashimi mainstays like tuna and salmon, he also uses amberjack, grunt, herring, and other types of seafood to get just the right color and luster.

▼ The feathery shapes also allow for majestic angels and winged valkyries.

In the beginning, mikyou would plan his artwork out ahead of time, sketching a design and envisioning how to divide it up into sashimi slices before doing anything else.

These days, however, he usually lays out the sashimi first, then lets inspiration strike as he’s looking at his available materials, and then artistically arranges them then and there.

However, while Japan is big on beautiful visual presentation, one thing it doesn’t like is wasting food, so mikyou and his family eat each and every one o f his creations. He also uses chopsticks, not his hands, when arranging the pieces and tries to minimize the amount of times he has to touch them, in order to avoid diminishing their flavor.

▼ A sylph and fire spirit

The majority of mikyou’s creations are completely original designs, but he also dabbles in a bit of pre-established character art, like with these salutes to the One Piece anime/manga franchise’s Nami and Sanji.

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#onepiece

A post shared by mikyou (@mikyoui00) on

He’ll also occasionally use cubed cuts for sashimi pixel art, like here with Nintendo’s Super Mario.

And while mikyou is unquestionably skilled at creating scenes of romance and adventure…

…he can also make sashimi look achingly gorgeous even when it just looks like sashimi…

…and we can’t wait to see what graces his Instagram account and dinr table next.

Images: @mikyoui00
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[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he litrlly never gets tired of eating sashimi.

[ Read in Japanese ]