Come new year in neighborhoods around Japan, you’ll see steam rising, and hear wooden hammers pounding and men and women grunting and yelling.
What’s going on?
It’s a tradition to make ‘mochi,’ a rice cake produced by steaming rice, and whacking it (until your arms are sore) with giant wood mallets in a stone mortar (usu). After the rice becomes a thick doughy consistency, it is formed into balls and often stuffed with various kinds of sweet fillings.
Filmed by Patrick M. Lydon, originally published at SocieCity