Plastic dish samples you can often see in Japanese restaurants are called Shokuhin sample. These plastic dishes are predicted to be invented by more than one researcher in the end of Taisho period, beginning of Showa period.

Takizo Iwasaki, who started Iwasaki Works in the Osaka area, made his first plastic sample in 1932, by looking at his wife's omelet.

And as time went on, plastic food production technology and popularity developed and raised nationwide.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the material used in its production was changed from candle to resin, which is resistant to heat.

In Ganso Sample in Tokyo, you can also take part in the making of various kinds of plastic items such as key chain and witness this interesting process of plastic food making.

Are you curious? Here's a video showing how it's done. Enjoy!