It isn’t really a dance, but it appeared that way while watching the mochi tsukuri at the Triangle Nippon Club’s Shinnenkai (New Year’s Celebration) at the Duke Gardens this past Sunday.
There were so many things to be enjoyed and appreciated at this event, Koto, good food (Chirashizushi), and the opportunity to mellow out with a bowl of Matcha, but my favorite by far was the mochi pounding – pounding sweet rice into a large cake – a traditional New Year’s activity. It’s something I recall witnessing in my old “Kago” neighborhood. The image that comes to mind is of a huge stone mortar in the center of a small crowd and some of the strong men of the neighborhood doing the pounding. I wonder if it could have been carved from a large lava rock from Sakurajima – pure speculation, but a possibility.