Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Xeni chats with my sister Mimi on NPR and Mimi talks about her bento moblog. The bento moblog reminds me of when my mother used to make bento for me when I was growing up in Birmingham, Michigan. I was HORRIFIED when she would pack onigiri for me because everyone would make fun of my rice ball or call it a bomb. Yikes.



It would be great if Mimi could explain some of the japanese ingredients like "takuan" and "kampyo". I love the bento blog (^_^)
Roger yori

Heehee. My son is going through exactly same thing except this is California and his classmates are actually impressed with him having rice balls and sushi for lunch.

Roger, I don't know if your comment was a request for info, or merely a suggestion for Mimi, so forgive me if you already know this, but:

"Takuan" is pickled daikon radish (the yellow things in the top and bottom rice/seaweed rolls), and "kanpyou" is a kind of gourd (the red/brown things in the middle rolls).

Anyway, good suggestion about Mimi quickly explaining certain Japanese bento-type foods. Many people who will look at the page are likely to know little or nothing about the Japanese language, but will have an interest in Japanese food. Obviously, explaining the intricacies of bento is not Mimi's purpose for making the blog, so it would be cool if there were a single page with quick English translations/explanations. Of course, one could do a fancy wiki-type setup for this, but a simple glossary page would be nice and elegant (as well as less time-consuming).

Dear Don,
It was a request as I still am far away from knowing everything pertaining to the terrific japanese cuisine.

Meanwhile I set up my own gohan blog and I will try to do what I was missing when I started getting interested by the japanese cuisine. Although it will cover other food as well.

But yes, you are right, Mimi's goal with this blog is of a different kind, more a bento (like in pillow) book then a guide for people new to the japanese cuisine.

And I think it's really cool what she is doing. ;)

I am soo interested in the Japanese culture. I want to start making my own bento next year. I'm in highschool and armed with only two chopsticks. Where should I begin in preparing a bento.. and where can I buy a bentoo-bako? I just need some tips

mmm onigiri.... too bad I'm th eonly one in my faimly that really likes japanese food. my mom is much more into chinese and recently indian... indian is fun but I hate green chilis... and she always nags at me for eating so many rice balls, but no one will eat them with me T_T though it's amazing when I'm eating out in public with chopsticks and amreicans ask me what country I'm from >.

Yes! Just like Christin, I want to start making my own bento for next year also. School food is >___

Hey there Mimi!

It just goes to show what they know! Amercian kids are so jaded to such awesome things as sushi, bento and things from other cultures in general. The part of Breakfast Club where everyone sets up for lunch and Molly Ringwald pulls out her bento box for lunch and everyone looks at her like she's a freak and she's so into it but nobody else really gets how awesome bento is, is what always comes to mind. I also remember she had a really pretty bento box also, I believe it was a long black lacquer bento box w/ flowers I think. Well, I've done sushi for years but I'm at the point now where I'm learning to do it for myself espescially, since I've decided to go into the Culinary Arts this late in my life to recieve my formal education. I was actually thinking about training at the California Sushi Academy. But I first want to test my patience and see how I hold up doing it for myself. My other motivation is chosing sushi and sashimi to be a staple of my daily dietary routine. I feel that preparation and propotion will help me to train myself as to waht is right for me to eat.

I've always been the quintessential All-American girl with a love of Japanese culture in my heart. I've loved so much about the culture that it's an inherent part of who I am. It's especially odd or so it seems for a African American woman, but I'm all about breaking stereotypes and bounderies. Well, I will be hitting back this awesome Bento Blog and letting you all know the results of my endeavours! Mimi, you put together a great Blog love and I hope to hear back from you soon.

Much Love to All! Poetess X-Chan

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Mimi's Bento Blog:I spend a small but significant piece of my weekday mornings making lunch boxes for my two children, just one of the many ephemeral everyday labors of domesticity. Here is my attempt to capture this stream of life, and to give me s... Read More