A Visual Feast – The Culinary Microcosm of the Japanese Lunch Box

The traditional Japanese lunch box, or bento, has undergone a number of metamorphoses over the long course of its history, becoming a staple and a unique point of pride in Japanese cuisine. Depending on the occasion, bento can range from a mass-produced lunch container available from railway stations, to lovingly hand-crafted compartmentalised meals set in equally stylish lacquerware. However, the most notable transformation may be perceived in the category of home-made lunch, the ingredients of which not only form an appetising meal but also, with increasing intricacy, a visually engaging one. This is known as kyara-ben (character bento) and it is particularly enjoyed by children, who will often receive bento bearing the likeness of famous manga and anime characters. 

The traditional Japanese lunch box, or bento, has undergone a number of metamorphoses over the long course of its history, becoming a staple and a unique point of pride in Japanese cuisine. Depending on the occasion, bento can range from a mass-produced lunch container available from railway stations, to lovingly hand-crafted compartmentalised meals set in equally stylish lacquerware. However, the most notable transformation may be perceived in the category of home-made lunch, the ingredients of which not only form an appetising meal but also, with increasing intricacy, a visually engaging one. This is known as kyara-ben (character bento) and it is particularly enjoyed by children, who will often receive bento bearing the likeness of famous manga and anime characters. 

Date: 3 May 2019 from 6.30pm
Venue: The Royal Society | Dining Room | 6-9 Carlton House Terrace | SW1Y 5AG London

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London United Japanese Fan Club