Children Make Rice Cakes in Toyama

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A boy pounds steamed rice to make mochi rice cakes at Yamamurochubu Elementary School in Toyama City on Dec. 17.

TOYAMA — Children at an elementary school in Toyama City took part in a mochi-making event on Dec. 17.

The event is held annually by the Yamamurochubu Furusatozukuri Promotion Council, an association comprising local residents, but was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This year, about 150 of the school’s students and their parents participated.

The children took turns holding and smashing the kine (wooden mallet) into the usu (wooden rice mortar) as people yelled “Yoisho!,” to cheer them on.

The children then rolled the pounded mochi into balls and coated them with rice powder to make kagamimochi, or large decorative rice cakes for the New Year.

A female first grade student, 7, said, “I had fun as I did a good job making a kagamimochi set.”