New Year 2009
Today my family and I went to the courthouse at Boulder Colorado for the new years Japanese Mochi-Tsuki ceremony. This happens each year as people gather to watch and participate in making mochi cakes. To make these mochi cakes (or buns) a sweet rice is mixed and put in a large semi-hollowed out mortar (usu).
Once the wet sweet rice is placed within the log one person wets and folds the rice. As the folder brings his hands away from the log to re-wet them a person with a large mallet (kine) pounds the rice. This process is continued over and over. Each time the rice becomes stickier and eventually becomes very sticky and can be put into a small cake or bun.
During the new years day ceremony the people in the crowd get to take turns being the person pounding the rice with the heavy mallet. It is very interesting watching different people try to pound the rice with different techniques and enthusiasm.
While this is going on a local taiko group were playing the Japanese drums and putting on a nice performance for the crowd. This added atmosphere and rounded out the day. It was nice meeting friends and other Aikido instructors and students. Thanks to everyone who showed up and shared the day.