Like Heather and Joe's sculpted Jeep wedding cake, Rick and I were excited about Sayo and Torrell's non-traditonal wedding cake idea from the time we got the order. The bride Sayo is from Okinawa, Japan, and the couple have history there together, so they wanted to honor her culture and their special place with a design inspired by the exquisite Shuri Castle (shown below). We learned from the couple that the male and female Shisa lion-dogs guarding the castle were important to them and they asked Rick to include them in his design. There are photos of Shisas on the internet and their appearance varies greatly. Some are more serious and others take a lighter, more humorous approach, which was the couple's preference for their cake. We were given a small figurine for reference but Sayo and Torrell left the actual faces up to Rick - as long as they were fun and represented a male and female Shisa.
Since the cake was for a wedding, Rick decided to make the cake stacked and symbolic of, rather than a precise architectural representation of Shuri castle. The two Shisa figures were placed on top of the roof, and became custom cake toppers. Traditionally, the Shisa's are either placed on people's rooftops or in front of their gates, to protect from evil spirits. The left Shisa has a closed mouth and the right Shisa has their mouth open. The female (bride) Shisa has a closed mouth, to keep good spirits in, and the male (groom) Shisa has an open mouth, to ward off evil spirits.
Their wedding cake brought together Sayo and Torrell's experiences in both Okinawa and Hawaii. They chose tropical flavors - coconut and mango to serve their guests. This non-traditional wedding cake inspired us creatively and also taught us a lot about the Okinawan culture.
|Shuri Castle, Okinawa, Japan|
In our next post, we have another non-traditional wedding cake to share. It is a striking sculpted figure that will be instantly recognizable, made for an NFL player and his wife for their vow renewal!