NY Times blog post on bento box aesthetics in Japan

There's an interesting post on the New York Times Room For Debate blog today (link).

The main question they asked of some designer and artist types:

What does the care devoted to the visual details in a packed lunch suggest about the culture? Why is such value placed on aesthetics in everyday life in Japan?

I have some thoughts about this, but I thought I'd open it up to debate first. What do you think about that question, and what about the responses?

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