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Chimaki making

The pieces in the foremost front of the picture are "Chimaki"s, which are sweet rice dumplings (the farthest) wrapped with bamboo leaves. The bamboo leaves, Sasa in Japanese (the 2nd farthest), are effective for food preservation and flavoring. Once wrapped, the leaves and dumpling are tied with Igusa grass stalks (the next in front). They are the same grass that Tatami mats are woven from. Chimakis are well-known to the Japanese as traditional sweets to celebrate the seasonal ceremony of May 5, now as "Children's day", one among the national holidays of Japan. They are a popular charm among people for protection against illness and other mishaps.

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