Happy New Year

To you all!  In my neighbourhood two local sumo wrestlers pounded our New Year’s mochi rice cake for us living in the area.  A variety of toppings was on offer – kinako powder, red bean paste, grated daikon radish, but I went for zunda: edamame pounded into a paste (being smashed into a pulp is a bit of a theme) and sweetened.  It was about 5 or 6°C outside in the morning, so if anything, the wrestlers can be commended for their physical fortitude; and for waving the mochi-obliterating mallet about like it was a small child’s toy, instead of the massive heavy awkward lump of wood it is. In the festive spirit the wrestlers played up to the crowd a little, pretending to smash each other’s fingers with the mallet and carrying steaming handfuls of rice straight out the cooker (don’t try this at home) and yet remained sporting and friendly all the way, allowing local kids and even some admiring young ladies to have their photos taken with them.  Incidentally, the mochi was excellent!

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