The bigger the imagination, the crazier the lunchbox.

Japanese father Takafumi Ozeki, who’s also a member of comedy duo The Geese, first came to our attention last year when he shared a photo of an unusual-looking bento he’d made especially for his kindergarten-going daughter.

While Ozeki’s Twitter feed is usually bursting with images of the beautifully arranged kayaraben, or character bentos, which he makes for his little girl, this particular photo showed a lunchbox that looked like it had been made by a small child. 

And in a way, the asymmetrical frog-face and the strange human beside it had been made by a child, as Ozeki had arranged it to be a perfect replica of one of his daughter’s drawings. According to Ozeki, this particular lunchbox came about after his girl came to him one day with one of her pictures and asked him to turn it into a bento for her

After receiving hundreds of thousands of likes online, many thought this might be a one-off act of affection for Ozeki, who’d expressed his concern over what the teacher would think of the strange-looking bento at school. However, it turns out it was just the first of many, as more daughter-daddy bentos have been making their appearance online in recent months.

▼ Owl and Cat, to mark the coming of spring.

As the school year got underway in April, his daughter drew a picture of Mickey Mouse for her bento of the day.

For this ladybug and penguin scene, Ozeki felt the pang of his daughter growing up, saying that the bento he made was actually less skilful than her original drawing. While he’s happy about the progress of her artistic ability, he’s also a little worried about keeping up with her as she gets better at illustrating her designs.

Ozeki’s next challenge was recreating his daughter’s interpretation of cute raccoon-dog character Tanukichi-kun.

And then it was time for Miguel and Héctor from the animated movie Coco (known as “Remember Me” in Japan). While Hector was meant to be giving the v-shaped “peace sign” in the picture, Ozeki hoped the teacher wouldn’t mistake it for an image of him hitchhiking, with his thumb out for a ride.

More recent bentos from this month show a trio of hippos splashing about, with one of them popping up from under the water to give the other a surprise.

And perhaps one of the most delightful in the collection is this one, which perfectly replicates his daughter’s drawing of a camel pooping. Ozeki is guessing that this is perhaps the first time Japan has ever seen such a bento, and reckons he should win an award from some sort of camel association for his efforts.

With such a vivid imagination, Ozeki’s daughter is bound to have even more surprising images in store for her doting dad in future. He might want to take some inspiration from some of these other bento-making cooks so he can keep up with her skills!

Featured image: Twitter/@geeseojeck
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