Chara-Ben is a boxed-lunch which is designed with a face of popular mascot characters. It was meant to interest children who have less interest in food to increase their appetite.
But now, the purpose of it is to create cute designs, and there are workshops in town that teach how to make these ka-wa-i-i lunches.
The photos show Bento-box designed with Kumamon and Funasshi , two popular Yuru Charas (cuddly mascots).
Kumamon’s face is made with nori (seaweed), his eyes with cheese and cheeks with imitation crab. Funasshi is mostly made with thin omelets, and his cloth with boiled fish paste.
Kumamon was the most popular character last year. But when it appeared on the Singing Battle of Red(female singers) & White(male singers) , which is televised annually on New Yeare Eve, it showed some obscene moves, and many young girls lost interest, causing decline of his popularity.
Now, Funasshi seized the opportunity and became the most popular Yuru Chara of them all.
They are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp (Cyprinus carpio) that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.
Brocated Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation.
Some of the major colors are white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream.
The most popular category of koi is the Gosanke, which is made up of three varieties, Kohaku(red&white), Showa-Sanshoku(red&black patterns on white) and Taisho-Sanshoku(red and white patterns on black).
A fry carp is not expensive, but once they grow up to be a large beautiful Koi, it may be traded for over U.S.$100,000.
There is a rumor that some Kois increase 1000% in value over a year.
Photo by Guillaume Nargeot
Donburi, Don, Donburi Mono / Bowl
Donburi is a deep bowl made of thick porcelain or pottery.
When you serve steamed rice in a Donburi and top it with such side dish like tonkatsu(pork cutlet) or tempura, it becomes a Domburimono.
To begin with, aristocrats in old Japan basically used to serve the staple food rice with a main meal and side meals in separate dishes, and eat them separately each time with chopsticks.
But from around the late Edo period, some shops started to provide tempura or barbecued eel together with rice in a bowl, and appealed to impatient and careless common Edo people.
In these days, with a catchphrase of “Delicious, inexpensive and served fast, it’s the best lunch for busy film crews!” , a major beef bowl franchise came out with a bowl menu served with miso soup, salad and pickles, for only 500 yen (around 3 Euro.)
At the company management scene, we call a sloppy accounting which mingles salaries, office expenses, entertainment expenses and all other expenses together, a Dombli accounting, and we often find it among production companies.
Photo By Chris Chang
The Bento-lunch container is divided into a cross,
This way, smell and taste of each food there do not mix with each other.
It is beautifully arranged.
Circa 1600s in Japan, a monk name “Shokado Shojo” was inspired by seedlip used by farmer, and he used it as a paint box and a tobacco tray at the tea ceremony.
Then, it was used as a vessel for kaiseki which is a meal served at the tea ceremony.
This style has spread to the world as “Shokado Bento Lunch”.
Photography by © Macoto Fukuda
Obon, it is the day when deceased family and ancestors come back from the land of the dead.
Although there are local differences in time to celebrate, depending on either adapting new solar calendar in July or adapting old lunar calendar in August, the living Japanese also return to their hometown or native place(JIMOTO), just like the dead ones, to visit graves and to renew their friendship with whom they haven’t seen for a long time.
It is the summer festivity season in JIMOTO, and after all the highlight of the festival is “Bon Dance” .
In the old days, there used to be one called, “Kurayami Matsuri,” literally meaning,”festival in dark”, and it said to provide prime opportunity for men and women to meet each other.
Dressed up in Yukata, a cotton kimono robe for summer, it is a passionate summer night to meet old girlfriend or boyfriend again.
“TinDong” is a drum set that can be played while walking, and we call “a band of musical sandwichmen, profession of street advertiser,” a “TinDongYa.” Passer are amused by their colorful costumes, lively performances and Cheerful messages delivered, the street advertising business with much history.