Kyaraben or charaben (キャラ弁?), a shortened form of character bento (キャラクター弁当 kyarakutā bentō?), is a style of elaborately arranged bento (Japanese boxed lunch) which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants. Japanese homemakers often spend time devising their families' meals, including their boxed lunches.
Originally, a decorated bento was intended to interest children in their food and to encourage a wider range of eating habits. It has now evolved to the point where national contests are held.
In popular culture
- Kyaraben lunchboxes are a major plot element in Bento Monogatari, a 2011 short film by Belgian director Pieter Dirkx
- Super Sied (2008-05-10). "Kyaraben: Japanese Character Lunch Boxes". Weird Asia News. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- Itoh, Makiko (2009-07-10). "The 3rd Sanrio Charaben (Kyaraben) Contest Winners are Announced". Just Bento. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
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