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Edgewater's Japanese Market Rings In New Year's With Pudding Pounding

The Edgewater Mitsuwa Marketplace will have live demonstrations of the pounding of mochi at its New Year's celebration.
The Edgewater Mitsuwa Marketplace will have live demonstrations of the pounding of mochi at its New Year's celebration. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

EDGEWATER, N.J. — Mitsuwa Marketplace will ring in the new year with a mochi pudding festival at 10 a.m. Friday.

Mochitsuki is a one of the traditional activities of the New Year's celebration in Japan. The cooked rice is pounded by two people with a wooden hammer (kine) in a traditional large, wooden bowl (usu). One person pounds the mochi with a kine and the other one wets and re-positions the mochi between each stroke. They must keep a steady rhythm.

Shishimai Lion Dancers and Taiko artists also will offer performances.

"Shishimai is the Japanese national art performance,” said communications representative Rachel Itawa. “It started in the Edo period. It represents banishing of the devil and celebrating livelihood. I think people will love the livliness of the Japanese Taiko, too.”

The two will take the stage in the morning followed by the pounding of the pudding at noon. The marketplace also will pass on good fortune in the new year with lucky bags at discounted prices.

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