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People Keep Choking To Death On Mochi

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A total of 14 people in the Tokyo area were taken to
hospitals after choking on mochi rice
cakes, of these 14, two died.
According to the Tokyo Fire Department, both of the people
that died were male. One was an 81-year old resident of Itabashi Ward, who at a
little after 1 p.m. on January 1st was eating the mochi filled soup
traditionally consumed during the New Year’s holidays, ozoni, when he choked and was taken to a nearby hospital. He was
confirmed to be dead shortly after his arrival. The other man who died was
60-years old and choked while eating mochi in his Kita Ward home.
The 14 people who were taken to hospitals ranged in age from
28 to 89.
The Tokyo Fire Department is advising people to cut mochi into
small bite-size pieces and to chew thoroughly before swallowing.
Mochi is probably the most famous of the various foods traditionally
consumed in Japan during the New Year’s holidays. As delicious as it can be it’s also notorious for being
extremely chewy and difficult to swallow. At the beginning of every year there
are always reports of people choking to death while eating mochi. The truly
ironic thing is that one of the reasons why people eat mochi during this time of
year is that it its ability to stretch without breaking is seen as auspicious
and representative of having a long life. Unfortunately, it’s this same
stretchy and hard to chew consistency that every year causes people to choke
and ends up cutting their lives short. If you’d like to know more about
this delicious but somewhat dangerous food, I recommend reading this very interesting
and in-depth article from The Japan Times.
Source: NHK

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