If you’d like to take a chance at making your own bento box here’s the Totoro Bento Box recipe.
The importance of a kawaii bento box.
No matter where we are in the world seemingly the weight of a child’s happiness lies on the shoulders of women. The humble bento box at the start the the 20th century slowly turned from suitable lunch carrying device to a status symbol for children to brag. The practice of charaben – food sculptured into intricate and adorable characters fastly spread throughout Japanese schools. With children, doing what they do best, and mildly bullying one another for not having a kawaii enough bento box. And then there was the mothers who were getting up at 5am, spending an hour or two crafting the perfect charaben for their little ones lunch.
In 1954 the School Lunch Act was enacted across Japan. This mandated that lunch be integrated into the school curriculum. Nutritionists dictated what would be fed to the school children. Each child was allocated a table to eat at and were required to clean up after themselves. There was a concern that the kawaii bentox boxes being painstaklingly crafted by mothers, may have been visually magnificent, but were lacking in good nutrition. Seemingly eating cute every day might not be all that healthy.
Even today bento box is a part of the school life, it is somewhat restricted to picnics and outings. Though things are changing, with there being a rebirth in the popularity of bentox boxes for school lunches. With that comes the social pressure from other mothers, school teachers and children to craft the perfect bento box, with women reporting bento stress
. Across Japan there is an increase in women attending classes to learn how to master the charaben
Stores are abundant with tools to help you make that egg into a Pokémon ball, teeny tiny flags and miniature tooth picks with kawaii characters so that you’re special snowflake child doesn’t need to get their fingers dirty eating lunch.
You can easily buy a whole range of bento boxes and charaben making supplies on Amazon.
I do suggest that you take a look at these really affordable and eco-friendly bento boxes;