Report of Japanese Cultural Experience “Let’s Try Mochi-Pounding at the Traditional Japanese Folk House!

       On Monday, January 8, 2018, Yamagata University, Faculty of Engineering hosted making mochi (rice cake) at Magotaro, traditional Japanese folk house which is located at Akashiba-cho, Yonezawa City. Sixteen international students from Yonezawa and Kojirakawa Campus participated in this event. Prof. Shindo, the owner of the traditional folk house, had a talk with students concerning “Japanese House”. After this talk, students actually experienced making mochi using kine (wooden mallet) and usu (wooden mortar). International students who experienced making mochi for the first time, shouted “Ichi Ni Ichi Ni !” while kine went down into usu and strongly hit the glutinous sweet rice. After the sticky mass of mochi is obtained, the mochi was cut into pieces by hand and then was served with sweet azuki bean soup, natto, and zoni soup (shoyu based soup contained mochi, vegetable and chicken). After finished pounding mochi , Prof. Shindo’s wife did the picture-story show “The Cried Demon”. The international student from Bangladesh who saw the picture-story show for the first time gave his impression. He said that the content of story was easy to understand and interesting. This event is closed by explanation concerning Shindo family ‘s event (New Year, First Full Moon Festival, Seasonal Festival) by Prof. Shindo. Finally, from international students who participated, there were many questions about traditional Japanese folk house and Japanese culture during this event. So, it is hoped that this event could deepen the understanding toward Japanese culture.