Traditional Bento Boxes

Traditional Bento Boxes

Simple and elegant in design, traditional bento boxes have been used to serve lunches in Japanese ryokans, restaurants, and hotels since the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Made from a durable and easy to clean food-grade resin, they are an excellent choice for enjoying traditional Japanese-inspired meals. Our collection of traditional bento boxes includes the Shokado, Restaurant Grade and Traditional with five or six compartments. Made in convenient sizes ranging from small, medium, large and extra large they are great for serving portion-controlled meals and widely popular for special occasions, picnics, lunches, or simply entertaining guests or the family.

The inspiration behind the Traditional Bento Boxes sleek and simple design comes from the original Shōkadō bento box. The collection incorporates clean lines, crimson red and black colour palette, and functionality that intersects a minimalist aesthetic with a traditional finish. Named after Shojo Shokado, a famous Shinto-Shingon Buddhist priest during the Edo period (1584 – 1639). Shōkadō would carry his calligraphy and tobacco tools in an elaborately lacquered red and black box. Included were four equally divided compartments that he eventually used to transport his lunch.

Fast forward close to four hundred years later a famous restaurant owner Yuki Teiichi noticed a copy of the box while having tea at the Shokado Tea House in Kyoto. He fell in love with it because of its simplicity and elegant design. Yuki had a similar version of the partitioned box created. It was painted black with a glossy lacquered finish, and it was called “Shokado” which was used to serve bento meals. The sleek Shokado bento box was said to give the meals an attractive appearance. Simultaneously, it prevents the flavours and aroma from the other dishes to mix, making a delicious meal still sold today. You can see the inspiration behind the traditional bento box design at the “Shokado Art Museum” in Kyoto. Read more about the history behind the Shokado Bento Box.