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Americans, Japanese pound mochi, strengthen bonds

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Rothstein, 35th Fighter Wing commander, pounds mochi during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym, Misawa Air Base, Japan; Dec. 16, 2010. Mochi is a type of rice cake made by pounding steamed, glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar with a large wooden mallet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Released)

Col. Michael Rothstein, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, pounds mochi Dec. 16, 2010, during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym on Misawa Air Base, Japan. Mochi is a type of rice cake made by using a large wooden mallet to pound steamed glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

U.S. Air Force Col. John Pearse, 35th Operations Group commander, pounds mochi during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym, Misawa Air Base, Japan; Dec. 16, 2010. Mochi is a type of rice cake made by pounding steamed, glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar with a large wooden mallet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Released)

Col. John Pearse, the 35th Operations Group commander, pounds mochi Dec. 16, 2010, during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym on Misawa Air Base, Japan. Mochi is a type of rice cake made by using a large wooden mallet to pound steamed glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

Ceremony workers slice fresh mochi, a type of traditional Japanese rice cake, during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym, Misawa Air Base, Japan; Dec. 16, 2010. Local American and Japanese leadership worked together to pound steamed rice into mochi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Released)

Fresh mochi, a type of traditional Japanese rice cake, is sliced and sampled Dec. 16, 2010, by those attending the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym on Misawa Air Base, Japan. The ceremony gave Americans a chance to experience a time-honored Japanese tradition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

The Rothstein family tries freshly made mochi during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym, Misawa Air Base, Japan; Dec. 16, 2010. After taking turns pounding steamed rice into the traditional Japanese rice cakes, local dignitaries and their families were able to try the mochi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Released)

Members of Col. Michael Rothstein's family try freshly made mochi Dec. 16, 2010, during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym on Misawa Air Base, Japan. The ceremony gave Americans a chance to experience a time-honored Japanese tradition. Colonel Rothstein is the 35th Fighter Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

American and Japanese leadership eat and converse during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym, Misawa Air Base, Japan; Dec. 16, 2010. The ceremony gave Americans a chance to experience a time-honored Japanese tradition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Released)

American and Japanese participants eat and converse Dec. 16, 2010, during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym on Misawa Air Base, Japan. The ceremony gave Americans a chance to experience a time-honored Japanese tradition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

Col. Michael Rothstein, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, pounds mochi Dec. 16, 2010, during the annual mochi pounding ceremony at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force gym on Misawa Air Base, Japan. Mochi is a type of rice cake made by using a large wooden mallet to pound steamed glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

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