The end of the year is the busiest time of the year in Japan. For business men, they have to prepare to go into the longest holiday of the year. For housewives/husbands, they practically turn the house inside-out to organize and clean the house in preparation for the new year.
There is also the biggest event waiting; making osechi. Osechi is New Year’s festivity cuisine served throughout the 3 days of New Year. Cooking the whole cuisine takes 2 whole days. Can you imagine?! It includes kuromame (sweet black soy beans), kazunoko (herring roe), tazukuri (carameled small fish), datemaki (sweet egg omelet roll), kamaboko (fish cake)… the list keeps going on and on. Each dish is a wish for a good year ahead. Because it takes such a long time for preparation, people order osechi now a days. Pricy, but hey! Considering the time to complete the whole osechi set, I would not blame them.
This depends on the family tradition, but the osechi is often put in a jyu-bako for presentation. Jyu-bako is a lacquered tiered box, like a lunch box; not only does the cuisine look nice in a jyu-bako, it has practical use to be easily carried around. The jyu-bako offered at Japan Marche is two-tiered with rich shade of black and brown that faintly reveals the beautiful wood grain. I am more accustomed to seeing black and red lacquer, so this deep shade of brown is truly mesmerizing.
Jyu-bako is originally made for food, but I think it would be a beautiful practical piece of display and a hack for organizing. It has a fair size that items can be put into them for organizing—for example pens/pencils on the top and note pads on the lower tier—and yet be presentable.
For food and for organizing; try using jyu-bako! You may come up with other use. Please share with us if you do!