I have to thank these Japanese geniuses for inspiring me to do my Kawaii bento cupcakes!
Since the 1970s, cuteness (可愛さ, kawaisa) has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, and mannerisms. Foreign observers often find this cuteness intriguing and sometimes strange because the Japanese employ it in a vast array of situations and demographics where, in other cultures, it would be considered incongruously juvenile or frivolous (for example, in government publications, public service warnings, office environments, military advertisements, and commercial airliners, among many others).
As a cultural phenomenon, cuteness is increasingly accepted in Japan as a part of Japanese culture and national identity. Tomoyuki Sugiyama, author of "Cool Japan", believes that "cuteness" is rooted in Japan's harmony-loving culture, and Nobuyoshi Kurita, a sociology professor at Musashi University in Tokyo, has stated that "cute" is a "magic term" that encompasses everything that's acceptable and desirable in Japan.
Pat and her friends gathered for a bento box party this afternoon. I was appointed to surprise the ladies with a few cute little creatures on miniature cakes! The sponsors were a little tight on funds; but Pat was generous enough to foot the bill personally just to see the smiles on everyones faces when they opened up a pretty piece of sweetness each.
From Hello Kitty cutlery to Tarepanda sushi's ....kerroppi? Pucca....Mashimaru?... er... haha I'm not sure if I even got them right... I'm personally not too big a fan of Japanese pop culture.
Can't deny the cute factor they give things though.
....Still don't love them enough to not be a "Hello Kitty" hater. *evil grin*
Japanese bento boxes have really became an art form of its own. Lunch boxes are elaborately designed for convenience and cute little Japanese characters are often seen adorning these lovely little take out containers. The compartments in each bento really is the cool bit. These ladies are so good with mixing well balanced meals to create aesthetically pleasing and delicious combinations in a box.I bet these lucky girls get lovely lunch boxes from their mom Pat when they were in school.
I'm going to try talking my mom to make me a bento too!!! *whine*~