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Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes
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Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Dating back several hundred years, the Japanese bento box is as integral a part of the country’s culinary identity as sushi. Today, a contemporary version of the bento box exists, inspired by the rampant popularity of movies, television shows and manga. These charaben, made by parents (mostly mothers) eager to bring attention to their children’s lunch boxes, comprise food ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Mark Batty Publisher
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3.69  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of any age.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
Shelves: japan
This is an interesting, easy to read & digest (!) book about the Japanese art of decorative bento boxes - something which I didn't even know existed before I picked up this book! Usually, the bento boxes are made by parents - usually moms - for their kids when they are little, so that the kids can be entertained by the art works, and induced into eating foods they might not ordinarily wish to eat, such as asparagus, while also gaining some kudos from classmates, which would build up their eg ...more
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I was astonished at the time that these parents were taking to make boxed lunches for their kids--hours at a time! They claim to do it for the approval and love of their children. I realize the culture prizes gestures like this as a showing of love, but wouldn't a better rested parent who spends more time with the kids after school be better? Or maybe they pull off both. Either way, check out the photographs in this book, they are amazing. This should be considered its own art form.
Sabrina Taylor
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm going to attempt my first Bento tomorrow :)
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a how-to bento book. More of a photographic art appreciation of the work of mothers, sisters, and one father making these labor intensive lunches for children. I actually felt sad reading about these people who get up at dreadfully early hours for a labor of love, only to have the child criticize small imperfections and gobble it up. Or out-grow the tradition and find it too childish, so mom just abandons the hobby. Sigh... The photos are wonderful, and reading about the support groups the m ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Carrie Wilson
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Japan-o-philes, otaku, creative people
Recommended to Carrie by: no one--I saw it mentioned on a blog long ago and thought of a g
How many of us were told not to play with our food as youngster? I guess that Japanese children aren't told that, judging by the book "Face Food." Their mothers painstakingly create cartoon characters, recreated masterpieces (like Van Gogh's "Starry Starry Night")and more--and serve it up for lunch! Sure, we've all seen mickey mouse pancakes and such, but these delectable Bento Boxes are stunningly detailed and works of art in of themselves.
I work with many otaku (anime and manga crazed teens,
Face Food is a picture book of some fabulous examples of "charaben" -- character-themed bento lunches. While brief interviews accompany some images, this book does not serve as a sociological analysis of why parents would choice or refrain from making such elaborate lunches or explore what effect this lavish preparation has on children's development. This book is also not a how-to book on making your own bento, though two short examples are provided at the end. However, the book is entertaining ...more
May 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe people create these magnificent lunchboxes two or three times a week - and with such simple ingredients. Lovely to look at and inspiring. I'll never create anything so intricate (too lazy), but it's great to see what can be done with ingenuity and patience.
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
A look into the charaben, fancy Japanese bento.

Beautiful and definitely a creative outlet, but not for the average bento maker.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
It's just pictures of clever bento boxes, with a short intro and conclusion about why people make the fancy bento boxes and how to do so yourself.
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May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Title says it all; ingenious!
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May 17, 2014
Leanne Keefer
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Tom Howard
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