The onigiri is the centerpiece of the Japanese lunch. For those not in the know, onigiri are balls of white rice usually wrapped with nori, a specific species of seaweed. Of course, the most iconic form is the rounded, three-corned variation with a single strip of nori wrapped around the bottom; however, given its simple construction, the variety of shapes, sizes and tastes of onigiri are nigh endless. Recently, one enterprising user of Japan’s largest Internet message board, 2channel—often shortened 2ch—has used his ingenuity to compact this traditional finger-food into an even more portable form.

A picture of the onigiri was uploaded to a 2ch thread titled “I’ve made the world’s smallest onigiri!” wherein users posted their best attempts at crafting, as the title suggests, the world’s smallest onigiri. This onigiri in particular, smaller and more delicately constructed than any of its rivals, exhibits a craftsmanship of superior dexterity. The piece was quick to attract the attention of 2ch users who showered it with praise and proclaimed it to truly be the world’s smallest onigiri.

Indeed, the size of the rice ball brings us to question if ‘ball’ is even the appropriate word to describe it. The creator of this masterpiece explained that it was assembled, to use the term loosely, from a single grain of rice that was further whittled down to half its original size. Then, adhering to the traditional style, a minuscule strip of nori was carefully wrapped around the grain—surely a feat only capable by a true master of the art.

Translator: Steven