Mage Wappa: Traditional Japanese Wooden Bento Box
Nowadays, various types of bento boxes are available online outside of Japan. Some varieties have illustrations of cute characters. Some others have a thermos function.
But among those, have you ever heard of traditional Japanese wooden bento boxes called Mage Wappa (曲げわっぱ)?
Mage Wappa (曲げわっぱ)
Mage Wappa is a cylindrical box made of thin bent wooden plates such as Japanese cedar or hinoki cypress. The container has a lid, typically used as a bento box or a rice chest.
Magewappa is a traditional craft seen in various areas of Japan and has different names depending on the region, such as Magemono (曲物) or Menpa (メンパ).
Unlike plastic bento boxes, the Mage Wappa wooden box, if uncoated, absorbs moisture moderately and can keep the food inside delicious for a long time. Besides, it is lightweight and easy to carry around.
In appearance, Magewappa has a beautiful hue and grain. It has a good scent of wood, and if properly maintained, you can use it for many years.
Regarding the maintenance of Mage Wappa, you should wash it gently using a soft sponge and dry it well naturally.
Don’t soak the wooden box in water for a long time. If it has rice stuck, after soaking it in water for 10 minutes or so, remove the rice.
If your Magewappa has a lacquer or urethane coating, you can clean it using neutral dishwashing liquid. But if not, you should not use the soap.