Five men ranging in age from their early 70s to their 90s were taken to hospitals in Tokyo on Friday after choking on mochi (traditional New Year’s rice cakes) the Tokyo Fire Department said.
One of them, a man in his 90s who lived in Nishi-Tokyo, had gone into a state of cardiopulmonary arrest after choking on the mochi, Sankei Shimbun reported. He died later in hospital.
Every year, prior to the New Year holidays, the Tokyo Fire Department advises elderly people to cut mochi into bite-size pieces and slowly chew the notoriously sticky food before swallowing. It also advises people to pay attention to infants and seniors when they are eating mochi.
In one famous incident that occurred in 2001, a woman used a vacuum cleaner to suck the mochi out of her 70-year-old father's throat, saving his life.© Japan Today