Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Highly Collectible

Warning! If you have any of the symptoms illustrated below, you could have collectible fever.

Practically every train station in Japan has at least one kiosk that sells boxed lunches (ekiben) for passengers on excursions both long and short. This is a kiosk operated by the Kiyoken Co., Ltd. of Yokohama. Kiyoken's roots lie in Yokohama's famous Chinatown and for that reason their boxed lunches feature an assortment of Chinese fare, including dim sum.

This one's my favorite. Instead of the balanced meal in a box that is typical of Japanese bento lunch boxes. This one is loaded with pork filled dumplings (or shumai).

What I like most about the box of shumai is that they come with one of these. It's a single-serving porcelain soy sauce container. It's shape is supposed to resemble a gourd (or hyotan) that would traditionally be used to hold liquids of various kinds. They are very collectible.

I have lots of them.

I have no idea what to do with them.

I thought about making earrings out of them.......

but I don't have a matching pair.

Then I thought about making a game with them......

but the design on each piece is sort of unique and if I lost one who knows how many boxed lunches I would have to buy before I found an acceptable replacement piece.

And then I was seized by the spirit of the season...


  1. For those living in cold climates, they also make excellent portable hot water bottles that can be slipped into your pockets or gloves. I think they would make excellent Christmas gifts for those living in cold climate regions!

  2. It's kind of like collecting netsuke. Isn't it.

  3. I am hoping Sander Claus brings me one of these ornaments for my tree. Your biggest fan in the Mid-Atlantic region of the USA.