The making of mochi, traditional Japanese rice cakes, is a traditional activity for many Japanese families around the time of the New Year’s holiday. The term for this important ritual in Japanese is mochitsuki (餅つき), which quite simply means “mochi pounding.”
While there are dozens of mochi specialty shops scattered throughout Japan, one particular shop specializing in yomogimochi (mochi mixed with mugwort, giving it a distinctive green color) in Nara Prefecture boasts much more than delicious sweets–its second claim to fame is that it employs the fastest mochitsuki champions in all of the country!
The mochitsuki professionals at Nara’s Nakatanidou (中谷堂) shop make a great team. They’ve got the art of mochitsuki down to a tee, and it’s obvious that in the process they’ve also cultivated a mutual trust over the years. I mean, why else would they be so willing to stick their hands in the direct path of a mallet crashing down at full force?
The following video of the mochi masters at work is so impressive that it’s even garnered thousands of views outside of Japan. Remember, what you’re about to see is not sped-up or altered in any way–it’s the actual speed that the video was recorded at:
Here’s another video for comparison:
So, have you picked your jaw up off the floor yet?
While you’re left marveling at their masterful technique, we’ll try putting in a few calls to the big guys to see if we can start their cinematic career. Hey, if some of the most famous superheroes of all time can battle their enemies by throwing spiderwebs and swinging Asgardian hammers, what’s wrong with a couple of guys who fling pounded rice around?
▼ Nakatanidou mochitsuki masters: The next superheroes to join the Marvel Universe?