A Japanese mother-of-two has been getting a lot of attention on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest for her incredibly detailed and colorful anime-themed bento boxes.
If you’re even a little familiar with Japanese culture, you probably know about “kawaii”, the people’s affinity for all things cute, and the attention to detail present in almost every aspect of daily life. Food is no exception, not even the school lunch Japanese mothers prepare for their children every day. While some just patiently arrange rice balls, sliced rolls or pickled veggies nicely in a box, others spend extra time creating an entire ensemble, complete with rice balls shaped like panda bears or sausages carved to look like octopuses. And then you have mothers like @ryiuyuda, who take the process of arranging a bento box and turn it into an art form.
Kyara-ben, or ‘character bento’ is a Japanese food art that involves the depiction of popular characters, be they pop culture icons like Hello Kitty, video game characters like Super Mario, or anime heroes, from edible ingredients, in a small lunchbox of basket. Some mothers attend special glasses to pick up the skills necessary to even attempt kyara-ben art, while some, like @ryiuyuda are just super talented.
Not much is known about the young mother of two, other than she started doing bento art as a way to make her two children happy, and gradually elevated her skills to the point where she can now create edible portraits of popular anime characters.
Although she doesn’t always list the ingredients used in her edible composition, @ryiuyuda generally relies on dried seaweed for the hair of her characters, fresh and pickled vegetables, as well as cooked rice.