The Craftsmanship of Takenaka

Takenaka Bento Box was founded in 1925 in the Yamanaka Onsen district of the city of Kaga known for its long history of lacquerware craftsmanship. Lacquerware, is one of Japan's oldest traditional crafts and an exquisite traditional technique that have been handed down from ancient times. Takenaka has taken this ancient technique and applied it to a variety of tableware products, including the popular bento box.


Yamanaka lacquerware comes in two varieties: mokusei shikki which is traditional lacquerware with natural wood that has been processed and painted with lacquer, and kindai shikki or modern lacquerware which consists of a urethane coating on a plastic base. In the Edo era (1603-1868), as Yamanaka Onsen grew in popularity, so did interest in the craftsmen’s wares. The trays, plates and toys they created, and sold to visitors, became highly sought-after souvenirs and in the late 1950s, the modern Yamanaka lacquerware which consists of a urethane coating on a plastic base was born.


Each bento box is carefully colored one by one, creating Takenaka's unique color vibrancy, luster, and beauty fashioned with this same modern lacquer. Each bento is available in a variety of colors made to fit the lifestyle and needs of the consumer. What’s more, technological advances have allowed for greater flexibility in color and a process that more closely resembles the texture of wooden products.


Each Takenaka bento is silk screened and colored one by one by highly skilled craftsmen, reproducing colors like no other. Silk screen printing is the primary way in which color is added, but it is also possible to express delicate expressions by hand, such as color gradation using gold and silver powders and colored powders, and decorative painting.


Each product is then cleaned, inspected by hand to ensure flawless delivery to the customer — making for a timeless piece that the customer will love.