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 into a cultural symbol, to the point where national contests are held.
In popular culture
- Super Sied (10 May 2008). "Kyaraben: Japanese Character Lunch Boxes". Weird Asia News. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
- "Dude, Where's My Food? Nobu Los Angeles – Lavender and Olive". Lavender and Olive. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- Itoh, Makiko (10 July 2009). "The 3rd Sanrio Charaben (Kyaraben) Contest Winners are Announced". Just Bento. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
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