If you’re feeling hungry and just want something substantial but easy to prepare, then take a look at what Japanese office workers will be using this autumn to keep themselves going on the hard daily slog at the desk.
The Smart Han (smart rice) is a kind of push-pop in which you can put all your leftover rice and other food from the night before, and then squeeze it out in this tube of rice.
If it seems a bit crude, take note that there is also a lid to keep everything fresh and even a cap for your furikake rice dressing.
Clearly it’s a re-invention of the classic Japanese lunchbox, or bento, though it doesn’t match the usual visual feast you normally get with local cuisine and is essentially a low-fi plastic design — hardly the Walkman — but it works like a treat and it’s not trying to look pretty. This is all about “smart” and unpretentious functionality.
There are two colors — blue or orange — intended for men or women diners respectively.
We also love the whole curio retro style of the packaging and the marketing behind this product. Takara Tomy does a lot of this kind of oddball innovation in which they show that they know what they have made looks a little strange at first. The presentation is always a bit of tongue-in-cheek since they are aware of the bizarro ratio — but ultimately they also just love the functionality and concept of what they have made!