Postcards from Japan: the fastest mochi pounders

Postcards from Japan: the fastest mochi pounders
By Seamus Kearney

The Japanese city of Nara is home to what are known as the country's fastest mochi pounders

This week we visit the Japanese city of Nara, known for many beautiful sights, but also home to what are known as the country’s fastest mochi pounders.

Key facts about Japan:

  • It is an island nation in East Asia
  • The population is more than 127 million
  • Land area is just under 378,000 km2
  • The country’s currency is the Yen
  • Main religions are Shinto & Buddhism

Mochi is rice that is made into dough and then quickly kneaded … or rather beaten with large wooden hammer-type tools.

Just before putting on a traditional white jacket and joining the mochi pounders in the kitchen, Euronews’ Seamus Kearney reported: “And perhaps the best way to understand this tradition is to give it a go myself … or at least try.”

Once pounded, mochi is used for sweet or savoury treats.

“Well at least no one was hurt, so now I can enjoy the results of my hard work,” said Seamus, trying a mochi cake with sweet red bean paste inside.

As well as watching the full episode, check out the mochi pounding in 360°:

Mitsuo Nakatani, a master mochi-maker, told Postcards: “We’ve been making mochi like this in my home town for a long time.

“To make good mochi, it’s important to beat it quickly before it cools down.”

And it is also best to eat it fresh.

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