About Me

April 2014

dinner action

Hi, welcome to my blog! I am Rie. I am a Japanese and have been living in Oslo in Norway for 23 years with my husband and we have a daughter, she is an University student. I love cooking, baking and specially making bento 🙂 I enjoy cooking not only Japanese food but also I am interested in learning food and cultures from other countries. I think I inherited this passion for food and cooking from my mother, she run a Japanese restaurant in my home city Kanazawa in Japan for a long time and she also used to teach at a cooking school.

On this blog I hope you will find some useful recipes and if my bento photos can give you any inspiration I am happy. Bento has been spreading to the world very fast and I am so happy to see the trend. But if there are some new beginners or bento lovers who need some advice or inspiration, please feel you are not alone. I only wish so much for our beloved bento to continue to prosper and develop its own style outside Japan and you who have met bento already will keep on making bento for a long long time. It is easy to see a fashion trend comes and goes and disappears from our society, but I really hope Bento will stay to integrate well and be loved by many people in many countries. Taking advantage of Internet and the expanding networks of SNS, we bento friends can teach and encourage each other and also learn from each other. Blog is one excellent platform and I will try to make the most use of this here. I will be writing in English and Japanese (while I keep on learning French!), I do understand Norwegian as well. 8 years have passed since I started to blog and I have just moved my blog to this wordpress.com site. You may already have been reading my posts on facebook or Bento&co’s web site, but old or new I am so glad you have found me and visited this blog. Thank you so much!

I am currently a bento specialist at Bento&co in Kyoto, Japan. Bento&co is really a good company. Almost all of my bento gears come from them and I am sure many more new exciting products will appear in the future.

The article below is my dear post which I wrote when I became the specialist at Bento&co. Time has flown by very quickly and I can’t believe the post is already 2 years old, but still my thoughts and principle stay the same, and the passion getting even stronger. I hope you can read the post and see what this blog is all about, as it really tells you…. about me.

———————————-

To all of my bento friends,

No.59

I wonder how far back does one’s memory go, and what is your earliest memories you can remember…..?   I remember and have a clear picture of me sitting on my father’s lap in front of a small TV set. My father was wearing a pair of white cotton pants and they were glowing in the room that was very dark. The small TV screen was showing a black and white picture, a single man of a well-built body holding a burning torch high above for many many people at a large open space. And there was a noise.

Yes, exactly.

Thanks to the large scale and impact of the event we were watching that night, this image is now digitally available on Internet after 48 years of time. Later I even found the date, it was October 10, 1964, and the man I was watching on the TV was Mr. Yoshinori Sakai, a runner, who lit the cauldron at the Summer Olympics games in Tokyo in 1964. I was a 2 years and 1 month old kid sitting on her daddy’s lap on that particular day, and that is the day my memories begin.

I also remember my first bento box very well, it was made of “almite” and had a drawing of 3 pigs on the lid.

Exactly!! Internett is a great archive!
This is exactly the same bento box as my very first bento box my mother bought for me. I think I must have been 3 or 4 years old. These 3 pigs were called Boo, Foo and Woo and they were very popular characters from the Japanese national television NHK’s program for children between 1960 and 1967. I remember my sister and I adored these pig brothers just like thousands of Japanese kids did.

My sister and I were so proud to have Boo, Foo and Woo on our bento box. It was a status! I remember how my first bento box shined, how cold the box was felt when I was taking the box out from my bag and it made slight metallic sound when I opened the lid. Out of the metal cold box my mom’s good bento appeared with yellow tamagoyaki and red sausages and tomato (I was a kid who LOVED tomatoes) and I remember that very well. Since this bento box I do not know how many bento boxes I have used. While I was attending a nursery school my mother made my bento everyday, and from the age of 12 my sister and I made our own bento as my mom was a busy working woman.  Now I am a bit older, but still making a bento.

Last month you heard I was joining Bento & co as a bento specialist.  (I am not very sure if I deserve this big title…but anyway it is my given roll and I will do my best!)  This wonderful offer came to me one summer day this year. When they asked I first could not believe it.  I read the email again and again and wow, is it true?? Then I went into my kitchen to start my bento for the day and began washing rice, but I was so happy that I could not help jumping up and down, splashing rice and water all over, screaming indescribable words like  AHH! or UHYOO! or YAYY! My husband and the whole neighborhood must have thought finally Rie has lost her mind.

Since that day I received the email from Thomas-san, I have been privileged to have some chances to see the backstage of Bento & co and I am so glad that I met this company. If you have also bought a bento box or a bento product from them, you can relax on the fact that your bento box was brought to you from someone who really cares and loves bento goods. Your bento box and bento goods have gone through many “quality filters” before they reached to your address. I called them filters but you may call them eyes. These good eyes are something we all can trust with ease as Bento & co is a hard working group of people who like to show the quality in anything they do.  I was not asked to write this, I still hold my freedom to say what I want to mean.  It is also probably easy for you to understand the uniqueness of Bento & co. Their recent media coverage in Japan has been tremendous, but as well as their uniqueness and their quality-minded principle, I feel a dream around Bento & co, around each product they sell, on their web site, on the projects they do. Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, many people in Japan have forgotten to dream for the future. It is so inspiring to witness that someone is working hard everyday holding their dream in their hand and it is going so well, like a boat under full sail in a favorable wind, in the sea of the bento world.

Yesterday I had a chance to hear from a lady what bento means to her.  She is a professional editor of a bento magazine in Japan and she herself has made bento for many years. She said bento is such an interesting thing that she can not stop liking it more. I agree with her totally! Bento carries not only good nutritious food for your body but also a warm message to someone’s heart. In that term we can say bento grows both the person who eats it and also the person who makes bento and learns to send good messages to other people. To me, who has left my home country and is living outside Japan, bento is Japan. This small space in a bento box is a piece of my country where I was born and grew up. I have lived in Norway now for 21 years and feel quite cozy at home, but I choose to carry a small piece of my mother land everyday with me, and maybe that is why I keep making a bento everyday.

It has been a bento and I, and it still will be a bento and I, but a new phase has started by joining in a team, and it is maybe like Bento & co & I.   What I can do as your bento specialist is probably very little, but if I may contribute something to make your bento life happy and enjoyable, I am very glad.
When you see any of my bento and could feel my thoughts and feelings behind it, I will be very happy.

Then we can call it Bento & you & I.

Thanks everyone!

xx Rie,
a new-born bento specialist at Bento & co.

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20 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Rie!
    What a beautiful introduce of your world and yourself! I just would like to thank you for your blog and facebook page because I always find inspiration there. I love everything you do and sometimes wonder how you can do so beautiful bento everyday. But as I love cooking and eating I try to make them be cute even if sometimes they look like “lazy bento”!
    Anyway thank you very much and I agree with you about the Bento&Co company. They are very kind and everything they have are good quality. And the plus is that they speek french!!!
    Siri

    1. Thank you Siri for your nice comment. I am so glad to know you are enjoying this bento world with me and you are enjoying cooking and making your bento. It is ok to have a lazy bento time to time, it is a secret in order for us to continue for a long time. Yes Bento&co is a nice company, they work very hard and they are very honest people. Many of their Japanese staff are very fluent in french as well 🙂 Thank you Siri!

  2. Kanazawa? May I know the name of the restaurant? I stayed in Kanazawa for over two months during student exchange and felt in love with the town 🙂 Such a nostalgia! ❤

    1. Hello Jessica. Thanks for your comment. Oh, you stayed in my home town for over two months!? Oh! That is nice to hear! And I am glad you liked Kanazawa. I was born and grew up there and my parents are still living there. The name of my mother’s restaurant was ABIANTO, it closed down many years ago but we had many good customers. Many sumo wrestlers, father of the famous baseball player Matsui (do you know him?) from Yankee’s and Tokyo Giants were among her customers. My mother really cooked and worked hard!

      1. Yes, compared to Tokyo and Osaka (I like their liveliness for sure), I love Kanazawa – it has everything there, but it is not crowded and close to nature. Everyone is friendly and lovely. I really enjoyed my time there 🙂 I see, too bad 😦 It’d be great to try your mom’s wonderful dishes! I do not know Matsui as I am not a fan of baseballs but I know how famous Yankee’s and Tokyo Giants are^^~

      2. Thanks Jessica, your impressions about Kanazawa are so identical to my daughter’s. She is saying the same. Kanazawa is really a nice place. When I was younger I did not think so much, maybe I was so used to the city, but as I get older and away from home longer I think so more and more. If you are Pinterest, I have an album collecting photos of Kanazawa. I hope you can see and remember your wonderful time in Kanazawa.

      3. I really hope you will be visiting again. From next year Shinkansen will go to Kanazawa from Tokyo. It will take only 150 minutes!! People in Kanazawa are all so excited about it and now Kanazawa station is renewed totally for this.

  3. Welcome 🙂
    I’m so excited that you now blog on wordpress! It will make it so much easier for me to see your posts and interact with you!

    As always, looking forward to your bento posts 🙂

    1. Thank you Keith, you are so kind to me, always. And I am so glad to get connected here as well by entering into the Word Press community. I am glad I chose this service provider. Yes it is very easier and user-friendly here. Thank you for your nice comment!

  4. Hello Rie san,

    I’m trying to contact you but I can’t find a form on your blog and I’m not a great fan of Facebook. What is the best way to leave you a private message ?

    Thank you.

  5. Hello, Rie!

    We just returned to the States last year after six years in Yokosuka and we so miss Japanese cooking. I love bento and my husband used to take them every day. In fact, he used to take two–one for breakfast and one for lunch. Now I need to make my two children bento a couple of times a week for college (they don’t take time although they do know how to cook). Thank you for your wonderful recipes and your desire to eat less rice. My son is a huge rice fan but he eats way too much and your recipes are perfect. I look forward to reading more of your blogs and making your recipes. I have many bento and bento cookbooks, they are a lot of fun. Thank you!

    Jo

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