Mochi is a type of traditional Japanese rice cake that has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. In early times, mochi was used as an offering to the gods, and afterwards were cut into pieces and shared for good luck.
The traditional method of making mochi is called “mochitsuki”, where whole rice grains are placed in an usu, a large bowl of wood or stone, and are pounded into a paste using a heavy wooden hammer. Mochitsuki events still takes place at the end of each year as people prepare for the coming New Year. Today, in addition to being used for ceremonial offerings and special occasions, the different types of mochi are enjoyed as a daily treats. They come in many different forms, including non-rice based varieties.