It wouldn’t be New Years in Japan without pounding down a stomach-full of mochi, and who better to bludgeon the rice into sticky submission than a cadre of sumo wrestlers? Today I watched as six mighty sumo-sans took turns wielding the mallet and flipping the doughy mass so no grain escaped the hammer of doom. This operation requires a fine sense of timing, because the entire blob of sticky rice needs to be deftly turned in between strokes, or the turner ends up with the mother of all smashed fingers.
Afterwards, we lined up for a taste of the proceeds, with a choice of toppings: roasted soybean flour, red bean paste, or grated radish. Gotta say, it was delish, and I didn’t find a single lump!
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for
Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had