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Photographer's Note

My friend Yoshi was keen for me to witness the annual Autumn Harvest Festival when young and old come together and celebrate their local identity by cooking up the local delicacies, by showcasing the arts and crafts practiced by the more gifted individuals in the community and by meeting long absent friends who come to the rural town in the outskirts of Izumo from wherever elsewhere they had established their lives.

Here the ladies are making mochi.

Mochi (Japanese: 餅) is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice (not to be confused with gluten) pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.[1] While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time.

Traditionally, mochi was made from whole rice, in a labor-intensive process. The traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan is Mochitsuki:

1)Polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and cooked.
2)The cooked rice is pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (usu). Two people will alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. They must keep a steady rhythm or they may accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.(OF COURSE NOW BIG MACHINES DO THE POUNDING AS IN MY PHOTO.)
3)The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes (usually a sphere or cube).



Confectionery

Many types of traditional wagashi and mochigashi (Japanese traditional sweets) are made with mochi. For example, daifuku is a soft round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, such as sweetened red bean paste (an) or white bean paste (shiro an). Ichigo daifuku is a version containing a whole strawberry inside.

Kusa mochi is a green variety of mochi flavored with yomogi (mugwort). When daifuku is made with kusa mochi, it is called yomogi daifuku. Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3578 W: 114 N: 6362] (28728)
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