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Bento Bowl by San-Yoshi Lacquerware


Beautifully coated and functionally designed, Sanyoshi’s Bento Bowl epitomizes Japanese craftsmanship. This cool Bento Bowl will make you want to bring your lunch.

Originated and practiced for centuries in Japan, bento culture is now building a solid foundation in the U.S. Today, packaged bento lunches are available at delis and stands, and a variety of bento containers for your personal lunch are easily found. Among many of the bento boxes, there is one that stands out for its beauty and functionality; San-Yoshi Lacquerware’s bento container is a great example of Japanese craftsmanship. Unlike regular bento boxes that have square or rectangular shapes, it takes a unique bowl shape and consists of two separate parts that you can use as layers. But above all, it is nicely coated using Japan’s traditional lacquer technique.

The Aizuwakamatsu region of Fukushima Prefecture, where Sanyoshi is located, boasts lacquerware with a 500-year history.  It features a technique that originated there, called “Aizu-nuri,” which is known for colorful decorations added via special techniques.  In the mid-15th century the feudal lord governing the region encouraged lacquerware’s development, inviting craftsmen who were making soup bowls to spread their techniques to his subjects. Successive rulers continued promoting Aizu-nuri, with the introduction of gold-relief decoration further contributing to its steady development. Aizu-nuri products range from dinner trays and soup bowls to tiered boxes and chopsticks, and it was designated a traditional craft in 1975.

Lacquerware is light and has a nice texture, making it a good fit for bento boxes. As Japan has always had a culture of making meals at home, packing them in bento boxes and taking them with you to be eaten later also became popular.  The San-Yoshi Lacquerware Company capitalized on this deeply ingrained bento culture by applying its lacquerware knowledge to manufacture a new brand style of bento holder.  It departed from traditional, rectangular bento boxes to create a rounded, lacquered bowl.  San-Yoshi utilized its sophisticated lacquerware technology to produce an everyday item whose beautiful lacquer sheen makes it unique.

San-Yoshi’s Bento Bowls have a bright outer color, black inside and flanked cream colored handles.  Initially the bowls were made in black, as this is the color commonly associated with lacquerware, but two-tone color palettes (bright outer and black inner) became a hit.

The smaller top section can be filled past the rim and the bowl’s base is quite deep, so the container’s total capacity is significant.  For example, you can put your main lunch in the bottom section and fruit or other snacks in the top section. When eating you can mix the contents of both sections, or keep them separate as you choose (The bowl is even microwaveable, as long as the cover is removed).

According to Atsushi Semimoto, President of Focus America Corporation, Bento Bowl’s U.S. distributor, the Bento Bowl has many repeat customers who return for its functionality and coolness.  He explains, “This is a product that was born in Japan and is the best of ‘Made in Japan’ craftsmanship!”

Bento Bowl’s tagline is “For your day on the go,” and it is a welcome addition to the typical lunchtime routine. Focus is planning to offer a new lineup of colors, such as light pink and periwinkle that are perfect for spring.



Bento Bowl’s two sections allow for plenty of room to put in separate foods and mix them later, or eat separately.

The Bento Bowl ($16) can be found at the kitchen goods specialty store, Whisk. (pictured)  It’s also available at the MoMA store, and the Mitsukoshi Merchandise Store at Disneyworld.


Bento Bowl is manufactured by Sanyoshi Lacquerware Co. based in Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizuwakamatsu, an area famous for this craft.

San-Yoshi Lacquerware Company

Focus America Corp.
501 Fifth Ave., Suite 1809, New York, NY 10017
TEL: 646-490-8203  |
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