Amami Superman Photography

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May 5, 2010

Mochitsuki Taikai

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/80 sec, f/2.2 ,ISO 400 -- EXIF
Kine & Usu
(mallets & mortar)

At the end of Jade's second grade year, all three second grade classes at her school came together to have a sort of recreation day. We played dodge ball and then made mochi. Mochitsuki means mochi making or mochi pounding. Taikai just means a large gathering but it can also mean competition.

Mochi is a pounded, putty-like rice. Some will call it rice cakes, but I personally don't think it's anything like cake. Mochi is eaten year round but you see it the most during the New Year. They us it for their traditional decorations as well as their traditional dishes during New Years. There are several ways you can eat mochi, but this is how it is made.

First the mallets and mortar are soaked in water for a few hours. This is done so the rice won't stick as much to them. If you didn't wet things down like this, there would be a terrible mess when the pounding started.

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/640 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 1600 -- EXIF

I believe the rice used is a bit special, I'm not too sure, but it's cooked like any other rice would be. When put into the mortar, you start out by smooshing it around. Once it starts to form a ball, then you let the pounding begin.

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/400 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 800 -- EXIF
Working as a Team

When making mochi, you need at least two people to do it. One that pounds the mochi, and one that flips the mochi over and wets it.

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/250 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 800 -- EXIF
Taking Turns

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/160 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 800 -- EXIF

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/1000 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 800 -- EXIF
Rolling the Mochi into Balls

Once the mochi is pounded into a nice putty like substance, you then roll it into small balls and cover the balls with some sort of flour type substance. I'm not quite sure what the flour like stuff is, I forgot to ask anyone.

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/160 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 500 -- EXIF
Fun for Everyone

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/640 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 800 -- EXIF
Mmmm, Mochi...

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, f/1.4 ,ISO 800 -- EXIF
Shot From Above

The yellow powder is soy bean flour with sugar mixed in. That with a little shoyu (soy sauce), and it's a pretty delicious snack.


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Keep the language clean please. I have family that see this. Tell us what part of the world you're in.