Character Bento – Tomomi Maruo is considered the queen of "charaben" -- charater bento boxes. Over the past 13 years, she has become renowned for her realistic portrayals of famous figures, such as Barack Obama, in the boxes.
Character Bento – She says she makes whatever will please her kids. Her goal? To send them to school with lunch that's nutritious and fun to eat.
Character Bento – Usually character bento boxes are made from small pieces of seaweed, ham, vegetables and mayonnaise -- that's the glue. Maruo can handcraft a bento box in just one or two hours.
Character Bento – Maruo teaches other moms how to make faces on rice balls using ham, crab, fish cakes, eggs, vegetables, and seaweed.
Konel Bread – Ran is a social media-savvy mom who has more than 122,000 followers on Instagram. She doesn't sell her bread commercially, but gives cooking classes and has published a recipe book.
Konel Bread – Ran creates "illustration bread" inspired by "kazari zushi", or "art sushi". When sliced, her loaves reveal a kawaii character -- from cute bears to flowers and Pokemon characters.
Konel Bread – Ran learned how to illustrate bread by experimenting. She piled up colored dough in a way she hoped would imitate a drawing, until she cracked the formula. Now she says she can bake pretty much any original illustration, including her son's doodles.
Konel Bread – From the outside, her creations look like a regular loaf of bread. But once sliced, cute pictures are revealed.
Konel Bread – Her first piece of bread art? A panda loaf, which she baked roughly six years ago while pregnant with her son.