cute

Another character bento contest: Tamagotchi bento!

Here are some more achingly cute and amazing kyaraben (character bentos) to enjoy, from yet another contest. This time it was one sponsored by Bandai, makers of various video games and the infamous Tamagotchi. The bento contest had three divisions, and the results were just announced yesterday. This is the winning bento in the Tamagotchi division.

tamagotchi-bento1.jpg

Yes I know, I said “!!!!!!!!” when I saw that too.

You can check out the creator’s own blog (in Japanese of course), where she has many more closeups of her amazing creation in this entry. Her blog has lots of how-to entries and closeup photos of various bento goods, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the cute bento style. (Her profile says she makes kyaraben for her 2 year old and 4 year old kids.) continue reading...

Review and Book Giveway - Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes

book-face-food-cover.jpgAs you may know already if you’ve been following Just Bento for a while, cute, highly decorated bentos known as kyaraben (or charaben, short for character bento), or oekaki bento (picture-drawing bento) are not my style, or what this site is largely about. But I am drawn to the sheer work and creativity that goes into those bentos, most of which are made for little kids, as I’ve noted before.

Now there is a new book in English about this type of bento. Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes by Christopher D. Salyers is a compact hardcover book with page after page of full color photos of kyaraben, mostly made by Japanese mothers (and one Japanese father) for their little children. continue reading...

Sanrio character bento contest

Oh rats. It seems I’ve missed the deadline for submissions for the 2nd edition of the Sanrio Kyaraben Contest, which was on the 7th. Well ok, I’m kidding - since cute kyaraben or character bentos are not really my style. I do admire them as a sort of edible art form though - the time and patience required to make something that will, ultimately, be eaten in a few minutes (more often than not by a kid who will stir it around and mess it up first) is mindboggling.

This bento was the grand prize winner of the first edition of the contest, starring of course, Her Royal Kittyness. Wow, just wow.

sanrio-kyaraben-winner.jpg

Check out the other winners on this page. continue reading...

Bento decoration: Gerbera-like wiener flowers

flowerw_finished.jpg

(See the Bento Decoration master page for my general thinking on decorations.)

Japanese people love wiener sausages. They appear quite often in home cooking recipes. Wieners are the Play Doh of the bento making world since they are colorful and easy to manipulate.

I don’t like to use wieners their relatives very often, though living in a Germanic area of Europe we can get pretty good ones that aren’t dyed a bright pink and actually contain real meat. But once in a while they do appear in my bentos. continue reading...