History

History About Bento Boxes

Bento boxes have a steep history in Japan dating back to the Edo period. Today they are one of the most common forms of packaging used for frozen TV dinners, takeaway, school lunch boxes and for serving deliciously cooked Japanese meals at home and more. Find information on bento history that includes Shokado, Jubako, Kyaraben, Hanami, Hinomaru, Ekiben, Japanese bento types & accessories and more.

Influence behind the Shokado Bento Box

Shokado Bento, Simple, Elegant & Inspiring

Shokado bento box (松花堂弁当) pronounced "shookadoo" bento is a simple yet beautifully lacquered thirty-centimetre square box divided into four equal compartments like the Chinese character for FIELD 田, with partitions that include extended edges and a lid to keep its contents warm. Shokado Bento named after Shojo Shokado (1582-October 14, 1639) a respected Japanese Buddhist...

Jubako - Layered Bento Boxes

Jubako Bento “Layered Bento Boxes”

Used in Japan during the Heian period (794-1185), Jubako Bento (重箱) means "Layered Bento Boxes". Similar to bento boxes they are a combination of elaborately decorated lacquered boxes used for holding and presenting food in on outings or special occasions. The upper-classes traditionally used Jubako Bento to hold takeaway meals in for picnics, birthdays, celebrations...

Kyaraben Bento

Kyaraben Bento “Character Bento”

Most people are familiar with the bento box concept; the Japanese origin home-packed or pre-made store-bought meal. However, very few will be aware of what a Kyaraben bento is. A little unusual, fun and artistic; are some of the terms that would best describe a Kyaraben bento! Kyaraben What exactly is Kyaraben? Kyaraben or Charaben which mans...

Ekiben Bento Train Bento Boxes

Ekiben Bento “Train Bento”

In the Meiji period, the first ekibentō or ekiben "train station bento" was sold in 1885 at the Utsunomiya Train Station in Japan's northern Kantō region. The meal consisted of two freshly made onigiri balls, a few slices of pickled daikon radish wrapped in a sheet of bamboo bark. Since then, the ekiben bento...

Bento Box Types

Japanese Bento Box Types

Traditional Bento Box Types come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Each of these will have it's own purpose or setting. Traditional bento boxes are typically a Japanese lunch-box though today the concept has made its presence felt in every household worldwide. Traditional bento boxes are distinct from the standard lunch box in...