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Watch: Making Japanese Mochi Is More Dangerous Than It Sounds

Do not try this at home

Most Americans likely only have a passing familiarity with mochi, the sweet, chewy Japanese treat made from rice. Here, it's often seen filled with ice cream (or as a self-serve fro-yo topping), but in Japan, it's everywhere.

Making this beloved confection can be surprisingly dangerous: With one person pounding the sticky rice-based mixture with a gigantic wooden mallet while another mixes it by hand, the potential for injury is high — unless of course you're a mochi master like Mitsuo Nakatani, who for more than two decades has run a famous mochi shop in Nara City, Japan called Nakatanidou.

In this video from Great Big Story, Nakatani explains that the key to successful mochi making is timing, and to trust the guy who's doing the pounding; the mochi-makers use shouting to establish a rhythm, because at a rate of about three hits per second, there's little room for error lest someone wind up with a few broken fingers.

Read more on Japan here.