International students and sumo wrestlers at annual mochi-pounding event

Okuma Garden, 12/5/16

Guest sumo wrestlers from the Arashio stable

Wrestlers powerfully pounding away

International students pounding mochi

Participants enjoying mochi and kenchin-jiru (tofu and vegetable chowder)

On December 5, the Center for Japanese Language (CJL) and the International Community Center (ICC) hosted its annual “Mochitsuki (mochi-pounding) Event.” Mochi (rice cake) pounding gatherings are a Japanese new year’s tradition, and the event is an excellent opportunity for international students to experience a part of Japanese culture.

Following last year, the University welcomed sumo wrestlers from the Arashio stable to the event. International students took great interest as the wrestlers, wearing only a loincloth, powerfully pounded away mochi, and at the photo booth, they gathered to take photos with the wrestlers.

Mochi pounding was also open to participants, and it was memorable to see many international students try this with a smile on their face as staff members gave instructions and advice.

The day was blessed with beautiful weather, and international students enjoyed freshly pounded, soft mochi flavored with seaweed, anko (sweet beans) and kinako (roasted soybean flour), as well as warm kenchin-jiru (tofu and vegetable chowder).

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