Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mochi Making

Mochitsuki is the traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan.

1. Polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and cooked.
2. The wet 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.
3. The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes (usually a sphere or cube).

Fukuwarai- a traditional New Year's game. Each team draws a blank face and hair on the paper and cuts out eyebrows, eyes, a nose, an upper lip, and a lower lip to assemble a face in like 30 seconds. One team member (Leigh shown here) is blindfolded and the rest of the team shouts directions ("up", "left", "right", etc) for each part of the face. It's pretty hilarious- I did this in a couple of my lower level classes by incorporating the direction words in English, and there we go- "internationalization"!!!

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