By now you may have seen a video or two showing off the dazzling knife-edge chops and whirlwind pounding of mochi making masters of Nakatanidou in Nara prefecture, Japan. The shop's professional mochi-makers have won a national championship on television for their unprecedented speed when it comes to pounding one of Japan's favorite snacks. If you need a refresher, here they are in action.


Source: YouTube

While their masterful technique of tossing and chopping mochi in between violent mallet strikes can be seen in mochi pounding (mochitsuki, 餅つき) throughout Japan, Nakatanidou's mochi making professionals do so with extraordinary speed and precision, which has made their shop not just a popular spot to eat delicious and traditionally made yomogimochi (a mix of mochi and mugwort), but a host to long lines of visitors who want to see the impressive demonstration first-hand.


Source: YouTube

Recently Great Big Story caught up with Nakatani Mitsuo, who has been running Nakatanidou for 23 years. In the video he reveals that there is no formal training for the high-speed mochi-making technique his shop practices, meaning that the timing, coordination, and trust for your partner are all things picked up over the course of traditionally making mochi. Their zealous shouting and other movements key each other in on how to adapt to rhythm and carry out this beautiful dance of mochi pounding. Watch this English subtitled interview where Nakatani explains that the thrilling technique is made worth it by the smile his mochi puts on the faces of his customers.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.