FACE FOOD: PHOTOGRAPHY
I travel often, and Japan has been a favorite destination of mine for many years. While there, I befriended a group of parents who met on a regular basis to share their charaben, or character bento boxes. These meetings and photographs became the basis for my Face Food series of books.
Above is Sayura Kubo’s bento and original sketch for her take on Alphonse Mucha’s Laurel.
Most of these parents have spent years honing their craft.
When the phenomenon first took off, charaben were made with typical kitchen tools combined with some arts and crafts know-how. Today, stores (such as Tokyu Hands) carry nori punchers, rice molds, and all sorts of crafty bento gadgets.