Elegant Addition to the Mokusei Bentō Box Collection

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Elegant Addition to the Mokusei Bentō Box Collection

The year has just passed the halfway mark and we have been working hard at adding new products to our collection though 2021 is just getting warmed up.

Later this year we expect to be introducing a new range of Mokusei Bento Boxes which have been under production since before Covid started. The new range will include the Camphor Wood Two-Tier Bento Box which comes in a two-level configuration with four compartments and includes a removable insert. Shortly after the Camphor Wood Single Level Bento Box with four compartments lands and is expected to be one of the best selling wooden bento boxes. Designed to specification to suit the needs of traditional bento box lovers that are looking for something that is truly unique. Along with being Eco-friendly and sourced from sustainable materials their design reflects traditional bento boxes from the Edo period. Both are expected in early July and we are expecting to have 70% of the first shipment sold before it lands.

New Mokusei Bento Due Spring 2021

As spring starts we will be introducing two new Mokusei Bento Boxes in medium and large. Both will include a beautifully handcrafted lid and base made from Camphor Wood with the traditional crimson red and back insert. We chose to use the red and black insert for these two bento boxes as they are larger in size making them harder to keep clean. The insert is made from a BPA free resin and finished in a gloss coating.

Camphor Wood, Perfect Choice

We have chosen to continue using Camphor Wood for our Mokusei Bento Box collection. Sourced from sustainable resources in southern Japan and southeast China the raw materials include naturally occurring anti-bacterial properties that reduce microbial growth. This makes Camphor Wood the perfect choice for making products that are used for dinner preparation and serving food. Research shows that anti-microbial chemicals found in Camphor Wood after it has been dried include chemicals that naturally occur in foods and spices that you find in the pantry including sassafras, nutmeg, star anise, cinnamon and cacao.

Nevertheless, Camphor Wood features a variety of colours, from light brown to a pale colour that is often streaked with dark and pale brown tones which are interlocked with a fine texture. The camphor laurel’s extraordinary strong dark grain against a yellow base creates distinctive furniture. Since the early 1900’s Camphor Wood has been used for chopping boards, kitchen bench-tops, table lining boards and hand-carved bowls.

Bento Box Sketch
Bento Box Sketch
Mokusei Bentō Box Attention To Detail
Mokusei Bentō Box Attention to Detail
Bento Box Design
Bento Box Design
Mokusei Bentō Box Specifications
Mokusei Bentō Box Specifications

Made From Spliced Off-cuts

The Mokusei Bento Boxes are made from spliced pieces of Camphor Wood that are taken from logs that are not suitable for the building industry, tried to optimal moisture levels then milled into sizes to suit the bento box design. Each base and lid is hand into shape and finally sanded ready for coating.

Made From Camphor Wood Offcuts
Made From Camphor Wood Off-Cuts

Mokusei Bento Box Final Lacquering Process

Lacquering of each box follows a traditional Japanese process that uses a milky sap collected from trees “urushi” which is heated for several hours, filtered and cooled down ready for use.  Applied to the bento box in several thin layers and then cured in a humid, dust-free container for up to one week. The final process requires that each box is sanded and a final layer is applied. Due to the cost, three layers are applied to each box. Bento boxes dating back to the Edo period (1603 and 1868) would have had up to one thirty layers applied to get their durable high gloss finish.

Bento Boxes Samples Produced
Examples of the original bento box samples that were made before production commenced.
Bento Boxes Sanded
Bento boxes sanded and thoroughly checked for imperfections before the next round of sanding.
Bento Box Drying Process
Bento drying process, air dried for 30 days so that they do not shrink, buckle or warp.
Bento Box Lacquering Process
Bento lids are lacquered for the first coat, total of 3 are applied.
Bento Box Sanding Process
Bento box lids and bases sanded before the first coat of lacquer is applied.
Bento Box Template
Bento box base and lid template is made before production, this ensures that they are consistent in size.
Base Sanded By Hand, Ready For Lacquer
Base Sanded By Hand, Ready For Lacquer
Each Box, Inspected &Amp; Touched Up
Each Box, Inspected & Touched Up
Bento Bases Made To Measure
Bento Bases Made to Measure

How Wooden Bento Boxes Are Made

1500 Years of Making Traditional Bento Boxes Using Echizen Lacquer.

Stay tuned for further updates, register your interest at info@katachiware.com.au or keep an eye out on our what’s new page.

Mokusei Translation: 木製: Wooden, Made of Wood (wordsense.eu)

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