Rice cakes: Japanese tradition

making rice cakes Inashiki in December
making rice cakes
Okaasan
Okaasan

Have you ever seen making rice cakes? Do you want to try it with us ?

Fuji
Fuji

Yes! I want to try it! 

As usual I helped at Mitsu-san’s farm, Mitsu-san’s *Okaasan(*mother in English) asked me if I want to try making rice cakes. Before having new years ,Japanese usually make rice cakes and eat during newyears. That’s one of our traditional events ,however,nowadays especially in Tokyo most of people stop doing it because it takes time and hard work. Even here in Inashiki-city, people started to stop doing it. However, Mitsu-san’s family they have been cherishing traditional culture.

I joined from the morning. 

How to make rice cakes

You might be expected to see wooden tools for rice cakes called “Usu” and “Kine”. However, they are farmers so they have a lot of traditional machines.

A lot of sticky rice soaked

The preparation was started yesterday. Okaasan and Otousan had soaked in water in advance.

They steamed them with iron pots. Those tools look very old and traditional!

large iron pots and steamed sticky rice with them
After that put the steamed rice into this machinery
The steamed rice cake was kneaded
spread flour on the large table

On the other side, we also spread flour on the large table because steamed rice cakes are really sticky!!

Folding rice cakes 3 times and making the shape rectangle using wooden frames.
Then pushing it.
Making rice cakes and preserving their tradition
After drying rice cakes, they packed in a plastic bag.

More than I expected this work is physically tough, especially kneading and pushing. And it took roughly 6 hours! But they prepared the day before. It might have taken a total of at least 10 hours!!

You might have noticed, we steamed a lot of sticky rice.
Do you think we eat all of it?
No, that’s for their friends or relatives.

We made a lot of rice cakes and packed. Including giving rice cakes also Japanese tradition.

Ah, we put seaweed into some of the rice cakes. That was also tasty!

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