To start, I just have have to share this video article from BBC about children's lunches in Japan. It's been over a year since my first eye-opening visit to Tokyo. While many authentic Japanese foods are imported directly from Japan by a local Japanese megamart here in Seattle of which I have access, I miss the experience of seeing the food displayed in its native country. Streets lined with plastic food replicas in glass cases that proudly announce the restaurant and what it serves behind them. Simple convenience stores filled with yummy sandwiches and perfect cream puffs. Department store basements that are filled with little food kiosks that sell the freshest sushi, Japanese and French pastries (crepes are all the rage), and ramen.
I digress. This video isn't so much about the food in Japan, as it is about the time, patience, creativity, and intricacies (and unspoken competition) that mothers in Japan take to make their kid's lunches. No bags of chips and bologna sandwiches here. We're talking about Sony Playstation controllers made of just rice and nori (seaweed). And Michael Jackson's face carefully etched onto rice with nori. It's nothing short of amazing, detailed work.
Here's the video: