I've been The Obento Lady at local anime/manga/Japanese culture conventions for the last several years. You can't miss me. I'm the very momly looking person in or near Artist Alley wearing a happi coat and asking you what you eat for lunch. It is my goal in life to get people to stop using plastic baggies in their lunch. Even if I'm not teaching a workshop at a con, I'm always happy to talk about Japanese food with you or give your lunch a makeover.
I'm late to the party. What is an obento exactly?
Obento is a Japanese boxed meal. The super cute, character-themed lunches for kids tend to get the most attention, but adults carry obento, too. They are the perfect balance of color, taste, and texture. You can make your obento at home, but you can also buy them in convenience stores all over Japan. I've been making bento and writing about obento for a long time. You can go here to read the article I did originally for Mothering Magazine back in 2009. I eventually took this article and expanded it into my Obento, American-Style workshop.
Wait. So is it obento or bento?
Both! The "o" is honorific. When you humbly talk about the awesome lunch you made, you call it "bento." When you receive it from someone else, you need the "o" on there to be polite.
Do you have an online obento shop?
Not right now. Maybe in the future?
Do you sell pre-made obento at the cons?
I wish! I would love to fill your obento box with healthy foods at a reasonable cost. I even have a food handler's license. Alas, I am not permitted to do so. I'll let you in on a little secret though. If you find me at a con and show me your homemade obento (we're going to call that anything that resembles semi-healthy food in a box), I will give you a free pair of chopsticks for your effort. You are welcome to do this once a day, every day of the con until I run out of chopsticks.
Want to know more?
Are you going to be at Saboten Con again? Are you ever going to come up to Kikori Con?
Check my Events page for where I'll be wearing my Obento Lady hat next. Sometimes I sell product, sometimes I do workshops, and sometimes I do both.
came by The Obento Lady booth at Kikori Con 2016!!!
Young adult author
creative writing Teacher
The Obento Lady