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Rice Cake

Rice cake Marumochi (丸餅).

Mochi is Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Similar snacks are prominent in Hawaii, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, all with other names and differences in serving styles.

Umegae Mochi is a local rice cake specialty of Dazaifu Area in Japan that is believed to ward off illness. It is usually sold in teahouses lining the famous Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine, which enshrines Sugawara no Michizane and known for its plum trees.