This Japanese favorite is made with love, sweat and tears.

Most Americans and Canadians will admit to having very little acquaintance with mochi, the sweet and fibrous Japanese treat made from pounded rice. In North America, it’s often self-served as a topping filled with ice cream, but in Japan, it’s a traditional staple found in almost every corner.

While there are numerous mochi shops spread throughout Japan, not all of them have mochi masters in the same category as Mitsuo Nakatani. For the past 23 years, Mitsuo has managed Nakatani-dou rice cake shop an award-winning mochi shop in Nara, Japan.

In his over two decades in the business, Mitsuo admits that regular and meticulous practice is the only way to become a master of mochi pounding. And as he emphasizes in this video, Mitsuo is so good at this surprisingly dangerous process of pounding mochi that he can pound it three times per second!

Mitsuo concedes that timing is everything. Additionally, he has to fully trust the guy who’s doing the pounding as there’s no room for errors lest he ends up with broken fingers. It’s all about maintaining the rhythm and the lightning pace to which mochi is pounded. The process is cool, but absolutely crazy and these guys are true masters.