Charaben (or kyaraben) are the almost too cute to eat bento boxes beloved of Japanese schoolchildren. Parents rise extra early in the morning to prepare popular characters from the likes of Pokémon and Disney out of rice and vegetables. In fact, they’re even banned in some schools, so fierce is the competition for the charaben crown.
In the video below from Great Big Story we meet food artist Tamomi Maruo, who spends up to an hour every morning making charaben and is so proficient at crafting the fun edible characters that she now teaches classes in it.
As England gets ready to reopen its restaurants on 12 April for outdoor dining after the lockdowns, restaurateurs and bar owners respond to the new legislation with some exciting pop-ups and creative al fresco dining solutions. Find out more.