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Authorities urge elderly people to be careful when eating 'mochi'

23 Comments

The National Police Agency and the Fire and Disaster Management Agency are urging elderly people to be careful when eating mochi rice cakes during the New Year holidays.

The appeal is made every year at this time. The sticky cakes, a traditional New Year's food, cause choking incidents among elderly people.

Authorities have advised people to cut up their mochi into small chunks and to eat it with great care, and in the presence of someone else.

During the New Year period, families traditionally cook ozoni soup and put the rice cakes in the vegetable broth.

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23 Comments
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Please eat mochi, responsibly.

Happy New Year.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

For those unfamiliar. With “ozoni” its a fairly tasteless broth with a large bland blob of sticky mashed up rice in it. Luckily only to be endured once a year with the other special new year foods.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Don't mochi and drive.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

We stopped eating mochi more than a decade ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mr Kipling - sorry that you've never had the chance to taste full flavoursome Ozoni.

It varies enormously from region to region.

In my area it is a white miso based / dashi vegetable broth with the mochi having a centre of bean paste, umeboshi or the like. It's anything but bland - and I deplore bland.

And I can imagine convincing some aged people of the "dangers" of mochi to be a real task. My own mother in law resented family cutting up her mochi. Now she has relinquished her "right for a whole mochi." I said to my wife 3 years ago I'm not going to the family home on New Years day if my parents in law insist on eating (half sucking) un-cut mochi. All members agreed and so cut mochi became the new ritual and we never hear a complaint these days.

Eat Safety Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Love mochis. Just about killed me a few a few years ago though. Ozoni with Mochis and Fugu --not for the faint of heart.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am always baffled by the choice of food for new year in Japan. Among all the great stuff they have, they always pick the worst, tasteless food from Edo period to feast...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Get those vacuum cleaners ready! I wonder if Dyson has a special attachment for this?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Every year they say this and every year it’s the same thing.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Can you imagine living a long and valued life, looking forward to another year, and losing it all for a ball of tasteless chewy cr!p just because it's what people used to do before they lived that old?

When it's my time to go, I'll be doing something much more fun than trying to gum my way through a bolus of bland. I'm aiming for brandy and harlots.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Americans are not fans of mochi saying it is like a rubber. Is not chewing gum the same?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

browny1Today  10:36 am JST

Eat Safety Japan.

Are you “Safety Eater”? ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Authorities urge elderly people to be careful when eating 'mochi'

Young and middle-aged people can, however, eat carelessly.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

And the headlines in a few days will be recanting this advice along with the usual mochi fatalities...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

kurisupisuToday  05:09 pm JST

“And the headlines in a few days will be recanting this advice along with the usual mochi fatalities...”

The relevant officials have been giving this advice every year for quite a while and I’ve never seen it being withdrawn or disavowed. Why would they do that this time?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I like mochi but not especially in ozoni. I prefer the pictured one with kinako or grilled ones with sugar/soy.

Panasonic bread makers make really good mochi. I strongly recommend it if you have one. Fresh mochi are really good and the bread maker ones are much better than amateur pounded ones you get at events. They're usually lumpy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

blvtzpkToday 03:30 pm JST

browny1Today  10:36 am JST

Eat Safety Japan.

Are you “Safety Eater”? ;)

blvtzpk - thanks for your query.

Yesw - I try to eat in a safe as way as possible and eat as safe as possible foods.

Although that can be a bit of a stretch sourcing such.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We stopped eating mochi more than a decade ago.

Good on you.

Thanks for the update.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now that mochi is becoming popular in the US I have stopped eating it unless I am in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'll present this at my next pancake social.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not to be disrespectful, but I have tried it, and do not understand the appeal of Mochi.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not to be disrespectful, but I have tried it, and do not understand the appeal of Mochi.

I don't understand the appeal of cilantro. Whaddya gonna do?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All jokes aside a death especially a childs death is a tragic thing no mater the cause. But it's fair to point out that child fatality rate in Japan for children under 5 is half that of the US. When feeding mochi watch your littleones closely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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